MUMBAI: Taking strong exception to Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray’s latest outburst against North Indians and asking Maharashtrians to stop making purchases from ‘outsiders’, the Samajwadi Party (SP), on the eve of civic polls, has lodged a complaint with the State Election Commission (SEC) against the statements.
SP secretary Raees Shaikh said that a complaint had been lodged with the SEC against Raj’s statements as they amounted to “social boycott of North Indians, implying that no purchases were to be made from them”.
“This is a violation of the code of conduct, this does not confirm to the spirit of the Constitution,” he added.
Speaking at a programme held in Vile here recently, Raj, who is seeking to cut into the Maharashtrian vote base of his estranged parent party, the Shiv Sena, charged that the North Indians were “coming from 2,000 miles away” and were “trying to bully locals”.
He added that the migrants had fallen in line after his party men had dealt them with an iron hand.
Raj also called on people to stop buying vegetables from migrant vendors and added that he would ensure that they were replaced with Maharashtrian youth. The MNS and the SP cadre had clashed openly on the streets following which Raj had upped the ante against migrants leading to his arrest in 2008.
In 2009, MNS legislators had assaulted SP MLA Abu Asim Azmi on the floor of the state legislative Assembly for taking oath in Hindi and not Marathi.
In view of the Election Commission ordering the covering of statues of UP Chief Minister Mayawati and party’s election symbol, the elephant, Nitesh Rane, the son of former Chief Minister and Shiv Sena-turned-Congressman Narayan Rane, has demanded that the the stalls allotted under Shiv Sena’s pet Shiv Vada Pav scheme should be stopped from displaying the party logo.
In a letter to the SEC, Nitesh, head of the youth organisation Swabhimaan, has
pointed out that the Shiv vada pav stalls in the city could be a violation of the code of conduct.