Raj Thackeray’s MNS is back in action in Mumbai. Their target: Gujarati signboards | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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Raj Thackeray’s MNS is back in action in Mumbai. Their target: Gujarati signboards

On Friday, MNS workers protested against two shops in Prabhadevi that had Gujarati signboards

mumbai Updated: Jul 28, 2017 17:35 IST
Naresh Kamath
While MNS leader Santosh Dhuri said the protest was against the new trend to belittle Marathi, political analysts termed it nuisance tactics.
While MNS leader Santosh Dhuri said the protest was against the new trend to belittle Marathi, political analysts termed it nuisance tactics. (HT)

Raj Thackeray’s Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) seems to be in agitational mode once again. Their new target – shops with Gujarati signboards.

On Friday, MNS workers protested against two shops in Prabhadevi that had Gujarati signboards. While one of the owners removed the board, in the other case, it was removed forcibly by MNS workers.

While MNS leader Santosh Dhuri said the protest was against the new trend to belittle Marathi, political analysts termed it nuisance tactics.

“Thackeray is doing what he is best-known for,” said Surendra Jondhale, a political commentator. “Thackeray feels he can recreate the past, but he should understand that times have changed and people are interested in constructive policies,” he added.

Jondhale said the party has now moved from north Indians to Gujaratis.

Thackeray has, in the past, criticized Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying his aim was to shift all major establishments from Maharashtra to Gujarat.

Read: MNS workers force shopowners to remove Gujarati signboards in Mumbai, tweet about it

“We will not allow anyone to sideline Marathi. The Gujarati signboards are a new trend and we will not allow it,” said Dhuri.

In 2008, the MNS started a campaign to ensure signboards across Mumbai are in Marathi. The campaign was halted after the intervention of Bombay high court.

Even last year during Paryushan, the fasting period of the Jain community, the MNS opposed the closure of meat shops and forcibly opened them.

Thackeray is currently trying to revive his outfit. He has now reshuffled the organization structure and brought new faces to manage things.

After his disastrous start in the 2007 BMC polls, Thackeray kicked off a campaign against North Indians in 2008, using which he reaped rich electoral benefits. He won 13 seats in his debut Assembly elections and had 28 corporators in the BMC. However, from 2014, he faced a huge downslide and lost clout everywhere with just one legislator and seven corporators in the BMC.

Read: MNS’ Raj Thackeray turns 49, stares at bleak future in Maharashtra politics