Even a warning from the Supreme Court did not deter Raj Thackeray from continuing his anti-north Indian tirade.
The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief on Tuesday blamed migrants for the water shortage in the city.
He exhorted his party workers to beat migrant slum dwellers who divert water supply by taking connections from the mains. “Just beat them up, don’t waste your time. The water problem is going to get worse in the coming days,” said Thackeray. “And this is because of these migrants.”
Thackeray was addressing party workers gathered to celebrate the fourth anniversary of the party’s foundation day.
The MNS was formed in 2006 a few months after Thackeray left the Sena following differences with his cousin and Sena executive president, Uddhav Thackeray.
His statements on Tuesday indicate he is far from letting go of his pet issue as he continues to pitch himself as the messiah of the Maharashtrians.
The Mumbai Congress has denounced Thackeray’s move. “Let the party complain to the municipal staff and they will take corrective action,” said city Congress President, Kripashankar Singh. “It is wrong to take the law in one’s hands.”
Thackeray also used the platform to further his campaign for the Marathi language. He told his cadres to adopt the Marathi language in their daily activities. “The railways have started announcements in Marathi and now we will enforce this at all the airports across Maharashtra,” Thackeray said.
He criticised the State Bank of India for encouraging people to use Hindi for everyday transactions saying that his party cadre should ensure banking activity is done in Marathi.
He said all mobile companies should record their interactive voice messages in Marathi too.
Thackeray, however, made it a point to explain that he was not against Hindi. “I am not being boastful but would like to stress that among the state politicians, I would rank among the top five in the matter of conversing in impeccable Hindi,” said Thackeray.
“My father could read, write and speak Urdu with ease, but what I oppose is the forcible imposition of Hindi on us.”