NEW DELHI: The Congress Party on Thursday demanded MNS chief Raj Thackeray’s arrest for his flaring statement that auto rickshaws driven by non-Maharashrians should be burnt and criticized the silence of the Devendra Fadnvais-led BJP Government for maintaining a studied silence on this issue.
Congress leader Gurudas Kamat condemned Thackeray’s statement and alleged that the MNS boss was making such statements to re-establish his political presence in Maharashtra.
“We condemn this statement made by Raj Thackeray. It is his old habit. Whenever he sees his identity getting diminished, then he tries to make his presence felt with such statements. Raj Thackeray and his party hold no significance in Maharashtra now,” Kamat told ANI here.
“I would like to question the Maharashtra Government’s silence through you (the media).This relates to the law and order problem, the Home Department is with the Chief Minister. He should be arrested at the earliest. What are they waiting for?” he added.
The MNS chief had yesterday urged his party workers in the state to burn newly-registered auto rickshaws driven by non-Maharashtrians.
Thackeray, who was speaking at an event to mark ten years of MNS, urged his party workers to keep pursuing the ‘Marathi’ agenda.
He alleged corruption in the purchase of 70,000 new auto-rickshaws in Mumbai for which the BJP-led Maharashtra Government is issuing permits.
The MNS chief alleged that the state government’s haste in issuing these permits was to benefit a particular company, which manufactures three-wheelers, each costing Rs. 1.7 lakh.
The MNS is making desperate attempts to stage a comeback after the dismal show in the Lok Sabha polls as well as the assembly elections. The highly provocative speech made by Thackeray can be seen as an effort to safeguard the party's vote-bank ahead of the 2017 BMC elections.