NEW DELHI: The Congress Party on Thursday slammed Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray over his recent remarks urging his party workers to burn newly-registered auto rickshaws driven by non-Maharashtrians, saying that there is a competition among leaders in the state to portray themselves as true representatives of Marathas.
Congress leader PL Punia dubbed Thackeray’s remarks as ‘irresponsible’ and criticised him for speaking ill against his fellow Indians.
“MNS chief Raj Thackeray keeps giving such statements. Now he has said that if non Marathis register an autorickshaw, then the rickshaw should be burnt. This is an irresponsible statement. On one hand he talks of nationalism and on the other he speaks against his fellow Indians. There is a competition to portray themselves as a big Maratha leader, it is all political, it should be condemned,” Punia told ANI.
According to reports, Thackeray urged party workers to take to the streets, burn auto-rickshaws and keep pursuing the ‘Marathi’ agenda.
Speaking at an event to mark 10 years of MNS on Wednesday, he alleged corruption in the purchase of 70,000 new auto-rickshaws in Mumbai for which the BJP-led state government is issuing permits.
MNS chief also accused the BJP government in Maharashtra of showing favours to Bajaj Auto in the matter.
The MNS president's highly provocative speech was aimed at safeguarding the party's vote-bank ahead of the 2017 BMC elections.