Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray on Tuesday squarely blamed Muslims from UP, Bihar, Jharkhand and Bangladesh for the August 11 violence at Azad Maidan that left two persons dead and dozens injured.
But he vehemently denied that by doing so he was only clearly giving his outfit a pro-Hindutva image while boosting its “Marathi manoos” credentials.
Addressing a rally of about 50,000 supporters at Azad Maidan, Thackeray demanded that state home minister RR Patil and police chief Arup Patnaik step down for their inability to control the situation on August 11.
Brandishing a green booklet — purportedly a Bangladeshi passport — he said, “This is a single entry passport. It means once you come in, you need not go back.”
The MNS show of strength was held in violation of a police ban on a planned march to Azad Maidan.
Denying any Hindutva agenda, the MNS chief underlined that the rally was meant to express solidarity with Marathi policemen and the Mumbai media who had bore the brunt of the August 11 attack.
After the speech ended, a uniformed policeman handed him a rose to express his appreciation.