A day after MNS chief Raj Thackeray criticised the Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) in his Azad Maidan speech, both parties accused him of spreading misinformation about them.
At a press meet, SP legislator Abu Azmi displayed a Rs2 crore cheque drawn in favour of Thackeray. "If Raj Thackeray can prove that Bangladeshi Muslim migrants voted for me, this amount will be his," said Azmi. "I am ready to give him two months for the task and will hike the amount if he wants."
An SP worker has filed a non-cognisable complaint against Thackeray for using foul language against Azmi. "I have no time for legal action, but my workers are angry and are filing complaints," Azmi said, adding that he would not stoop to Thackeray's level. "I can give the choicest of bad words to him, but my upbringing does not allow me to do so."
The SP leader backed police chief Arup Patnaik, saying the drug mafia was behind the call to oust him as he had put a brake on the illicit trade.
In 2010, Azmi was manhandled by MNS legislators in the Assembly after he refused to take the oath in Marathi.
Similarly, the BSP has warned that Thackeray will pay a heavy price if he continues his tirade against the party. "Raj is misleading everyone saying Lord Buddha's statue has been desecrated [in UP during a rally in response to Azad Maidan violence], which is untrue. He should not test our patience," said Vilas Garud, state BSP president.
"It is the home department's work to check the migrants. He is trying to score points," said Shirish Parkar, MNS spokesperson.