A day before Maharashtra Navnirman Sena's (MNS) protest march, Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray adopted a hard-line position, resurrecting the call of 'Hinduism is Nationalism'.
Thackeray threatened that Shiv Sainiks would take to the streets if legal action was not initiated against perpetrators of the Azad Maidan violence, in which two were killed and 63 injured.
"Unlike others, Sena's allegiance to Hindutva is not transitory,'' said Thackeray.
The Sena chief's remark, a jibe at his cousin Raj Thackeray, was in response to a query about the proposed protest by MNS.
Uddhav was speaking to the media following his visit to the Amar Jawan memorial, built as a symbol of communal harmony between Hindus and Muslims in the 1857 mutiny against the British. The memorial was vandalised on August 11 when the protest against alleged killings of Muslims in Assam and Myanmar turned violent.
"We need to be united. The country is on the verge of anarchy. The government should take firm steps to throw Bangladeshis out of Mumbai. If they fail, we will swing into action," he said.
Suggesting that the state government had adopted a soft approach towards the protesters, Uddhav recalled the 1992-93 riots, saying the then government had taken stern action to stop the spread of violence. "Why is the government silent now? The law should treat everyone equally."
He also demanded that home minister RR Patil and Mumbai police commissioner Arup Patnaik resign for their failure to arrest the real culprits in the violence.
On Sunday night, police authorities removed Sena hoardings from the Marine Lines area, claiming they were communal and provocative. However, the party made a point of putting up the same posters all around the CST area during Uddhav's visit.HT Correspondent