Unfazed by Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray’s attack against him on the migrants’ issue, Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday declared he would not remain silent if people from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh are discriminated against in Maharashtra.
India belongs to all Indians and everyone has a right to live and work in any place in the country, Rahul Gandhi said. “Frankly, I am not interested in the views of Bal Thackeray or (MNS chief) Raj Thackeray. They are entitled to their views. But people have a right to go anywhere,” he said.
On Monday, Rahul Gandhi had questioned the Sena leaders’ silence when National Security Guard commandos from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh were battling terrorists during the 26/11 Mumbai attacks. Bal Thackeray mounted a frontal attack on Gandhi in the Sena mouth piece Saamna.
In Bihar on a two-day whirlwind tour to kick-start the membership drive for the Youth Congress and National Students Union of India, Rahul flayed the Sena chief and the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena head for their sustained campaign against north Indians and Hindi-speaking people.
“Wherever divisive forces will try to whip up such passions, I will oppose it. I am not going to remain silent when I see people of UP and Bihar being stopped from going to or being driven out of Maharashtra,” the 39-year-old Congress MP said.
Asked if the Congress-NCP government in Maharashtra was not doing enough to prevent attacks against north Indians, he said punitive actions have been taken. “Those who indulge in violence will be dealt with strictly by the Maharashtra government.”