‘After J-K, it may be Maharashtra tomorrow’: Raj Thackeray
Issues such as carving a separate Vidarbha state out of Maharashtra and making Mumbai a Union Territory have led to major controversies in the past.Updated: Aug 10, 2019 03:23 IST
Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray targeted the Narendra Modi government on Friday over its decision to divide the state of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories, saying even Maharashtra can be split in the same manner.
“Today it’s Kashmir, tomorrow it can be Vidarbha and Mumbai. There would be security personnel outside your home holding weapons. They will shut down internet and mobile phones. Even Maharashtra would be split into pieces,” warned Thackeray. “They will target Maharashtra and this will be irrespective of which caste you belong to. Even those who are busy praising BJP will also not be spared,” said Thackeray while speaking at a rally in Prabhadevi.
Reacting to Thackeray’s comments, BJP spokesperson Madhav Bhandari dismissed the MNS chief’s allegations. “It is sad that when half of Maharashtra is reeling under floods and lakhs of people are fighting for their survival, Raj Thackeray is taking up imaginary issues,” said Bhandari.
Issues such as carving a separate Vidarbha state out of Maharashtra and making Mumbai a Union Territory have led to major controversies in the past. The BJP supports the creation of Vidarbha as a separate state but the issue has been on the back-burner since the party won power in Maharashtra in 2014.
Thackeray called the scrapping of Article 370, which gave special status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir, as a diversionary tactic. “Modi said this scrapping will generate jobs for the people. Then how was he unable to create jobs for people in other states who are jobless there? There is no Article 370 in other states,” said Thackeray.
He also said there is celebration over the scrapping of Article 370 in Kashmir “but no one” was talking about “the fraud that took place in the 371 Lok Sabha constituencies where votes in excess of what was polled were detected,” during the recent Lok Sabha elections.
Thackeray said as the government has a brute majority in the Lok Sabha, it has started clamping down on citizens’ rights by diluting the Right To Information (RTI) Act and passing the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment (UAPA) Act.
He also accused the government of mishandling the economy, saying lakhs of people were losing jobs.