Continuing with his anti-north Indian tirade, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray challenged Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar to celebrate Bihar Day in Mumbai on Sunday. Thackeray was addressing a public meeting at Malegaon on Thursday.
Nitish Kumar will the chief guest at a function organised by the Bihar Foundation to mark 100 years of the formation of Bihar state in Sion on Sunday. While commenting on Thackeray’s objection to the event, Kumar had, last week, said: “I don’t need a visa to go to Mumbai.”
Reacting to the statement, Thackeray said: “If Nitish Kumar is going to indulge in such theatrics, I challenge him to celebrate Bihar Day in Mumbai. I want to put an end to such tactics and you will see it on Sunday.”
Giving an explanation for his objection, Thackeray said: “First, the migrants come and burden our infrastructure. Now, they are indulging in politics. I will not tolerate such nonsense. Bihar Day was on March 22 and they are celebrating it on April 22. There is a sinister motive behind this.”
On the visa remark, he said: “You will need a visa from Maharastrians if you plan to celebrate such functions in the state.” Thackeray added that only Maharashtra Day can be celebrated in the city.
He said that he had clarified his stance on the issue with state home minister RR Patil in a telephonic conversation. “I want to put an end to such tactics and you will see it on Sunday,” said Thackeray.
He also appealed to chief minister Prithviraj Chavan, deputy CM Ajit Pawar and Patil to persuade Kumar to cancel his programme and celebrate the occasion in Bihar.
In 2008, too, Thackeray had objected to the Chhat Puja programme organised across various beaches in the city. He had indulged in verbal duel with the then railway minister Lalu Prasad Yadav.
Meanwhile, speaking in Mumbai, union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar said that he did not agree with Thackeray. “Anybody can celebrate their state’s foundation day anywhere in India. Why should anyone have an objection to it?” he asked.
Nearly 2 lakh Maharashtrians live in Delhi and celebrate Maharashtra Day every year, he pointed out.