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Raj Thackeray’s speech aimed at dividing society: Maha home minister; hints at action against MNS chief


Maharashtra Home Minister Dilip Walse Patil on Monday said MNS chief Raj Thackeray’s speech in Aurangabad, wherein he remained firm on the May 3 deadline for removal of loudspeakers from mosques, was aimed at “creating a divide in society”, and hinted at action against him.

Walse Patil also said Thackeray’s speech at a rally in Aurangabad on Sunday was centred around attacking only NCP president Sharad Pawar, whose party currently shares power with the Shiv Sena and Congress in Maharashtra.

The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) head had accused the NCP chief of playing caste politics in Maharashtra, and said he was allergic to the word ‘Hindu’.

His speech was an attempt to create a divide in society and hatred. Police will listen to his speech and decide what is objectionable and a decision will be taken on this, Walse Patil said.

The minister also said the Aurangabad police commissioner will see what conditions laid down by the police, while granting permission for Raj Thackeray’s rally, were violated. The Aurangabad police chief will take a legal opinion and send a report to his seniors, Walse Patil said.

A call will be taken accordingly. I will talk to top officials tomorrow and by then, we will also get a report from Aurangabad. The government will take a decision on this, the minister said and appealed to people to maintain calm.

At the rally in Aurangabad in the state’s Marathwada region, Raj Thackeray had said he was firm on the May 3 deadline for removal of loudspeakers, which he termed as a nuisance, from mosques, and added that if it was not done, then all Hindus should play Hanuman Chalisa outside these religious places.

The MNS chief had said if the Uttar Pradesh government could remove the loudspeakers, what was stopping the Maharashtra government, led by his estranged cousin Uddhav Thackeray, from doing so.

However, in a veiled attack on Raj Thackeray, the chief minister had on Sunday said he does not pay attention to “new players” of Hindutva. Without naming the MNS, the CM also said the party was making experiments to see if any cause was working for it or not.


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