Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray on Thursday issued a diktat to his partymen to welcome Rahul Gandhi with black flags to protest his 'Mumbai for all Indians' remark but undeterred by the verbal assault the Congress leader will go ahead with his visit to the city tomorrow.
"The Italian prince is on a visit to Mumbai on Friday. Welcome him with black flags," the ailing Sena patriarch commanded his partymen through a statement.
In an apparent attempt to present itself in the aggressive mould that was once its hallmark, the Sena chief and his heir Uddhav, the party's executive president, have let loose a verbal volley at Rahul for his recent remarks that Mumbai belonged to all Indians.
"Who killed the terrorists who had attacked Mumbai? They were the NSG guys from Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and from the rest of the country. At that time they did not say throw away Biharis. If terrorists have to be fought, let Biharis remain in Mumbai," the Congress general secretary had recently said in Bihar ticking off the Sena over its 'Mumbai for Marathis' stand.
Uddhav saw a conspiracy in the 'Mumbai for all' debate to separate the metropolis from Maharashtra. "Why is there a sudden controversy over Mumbai when nothing has happened here? It is a conspiracy to separate the city from Maharashtra and we will never let it happen," he told reporters yesterday.