Communist Party of India (CPI) general secretary D Raja slammed "provocative statements" made by Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray at an anti-immigrant rally stating that he has aligned with BJP and is being patronised by them. MNS workers on Sunday organised a rally at Azad Maidan in Mumbai demanding the ouster of illegal Bangladeshi and Pakistani immigrants from the State.
"It was a provocative statement. After Uddhav Thackeray aligned with Congress and NCP, Raj Thackeray feels left out and isolated and so he is trying to make his presence felt in Maharashtra politics. It is well known now that he has aligned with BJP and they have been patronising him and projecting him to make such provocative remarks," D Raja said.
Raj Thackeray-led MNS launched its new party flag, ahead of its day-long Maha Adhiveshan (mega meeting). The new saffron-coloured flag of the party also features Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj's Raj Mudra (royal emblem). Raj Thackeray's son Amit Thackeray has also been inducted into the party.
MNS recently put posters declaring 'India is not for Pakistani and Bangladeshi infiltrators'. The rally witnessed thousands of MNS supporters waving its saffron flag marching from Girgaum Chowpatty to Azad Maidan, while posters declared 'infiltrators are not my brothers and sisters'.
Raj Thackeray said, "When minorities in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan are persecuted because of religion, shouldn't we take them in Hindustan? The minorities there are Hindus. They say, even bring the Muslims. How do we get them? I had said, we have a population of 136 crore people, we still can't discipline them. What is wrong with CAA? Now the issue is NRC. Do they think my country is a dharamshala? They are coming from anywhere, living anywhere. I know we have issues of water, education, unemployment but the issue of infiltrators is equally important."
As per the reports, there has been speculation that the BJP will support Raj Thackeray in rebranding his party after the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena joined hands with Congress and NCP to form a government in Maharashtra. Congress and NCP are ideologically polar opposites of Shiv Sena, rooted in centrist and secular social policy.