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Thackeray adds fuel to Bihari fire

Shiv Sena accuses MPs from Bihar of trying to rake up the dead issue of violence against north Indians in Mumbai, reports Rajendra Aklekar.
Hindustan Times | By Rajendra Aklekar, Mumbai
UPDATED ON MAR 06, 2008 02:56 AM IST

The Shiv Sena on Wednesday turned its guns on members of Parliament from Bihar, accusing them of trying to rake up the dead issue of violence against north Indians in Mumbai.

"North Indian members of Parliament have shown their ingratitude towards Mumbaikars and Maharashtra with their anti-Mumbai tirade in Parliament," said an editorial in the party mouthpiece



It warned the parliamentarians that north Indians in the city would again be at the receiving end if they persisted with such talk.

The editorial said the Shiv Sena did not have anything against the innocent people of Bihar, who were forced to go to other states because of the inefficiency of their leaders. It said it was the north Indian politicians who should be taught a lesson.

However, the editorial went on to say: "Biharis are an unwanted lot in all parts of the country. They are not wanted in south India, Assam and Punjab and Chandigarh and have antagonised the local population wherever they have settled."

On Tuesday, MPs from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh had raised the issue of the stand taken by the Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena against north Indians in the city. Raj's remarks had led to some violence in the state last month.

Before the February unrest, the Shiv Sena had embarked on an exercise to woo north Indians. This had been opposed by Raj, Sena president Bal Thackeray's nephew. As Raj was seen gaining political mileage out of his stand, especially after his arrest last month, the Shiv Sena seems to have gone back to the sons-of-the-soil issue with renewed vigour.

Party executive president Uddhav Thackeray, at a recent function organised to observe Marathi Bhasha Diwas, asserted that it was only his party that was wedded to the cause of Marathis and nobody else.

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