Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray’s anti-Bihari remarks created a furore in Bihar with political parties on Saturday asking the Centre to take strong action against him.
Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi said: “Mr. Thackeray was in the habit of making inflammatory speeches, particularly against migrants from Bihar, to further his regional and chauvinistic political agenda.”
Criticising the Centre for its failure to take steps against Mr. Thackeray, Mr. Modi told reporters here that it appeared that he enjoyed the patronage of the Congress in Maharashtra.
The Janata Dal (United) said the Centre should take cognisance of his comments.
“The MNS chief has been spewing venom for past many years against north Indians, including those from Bihar, settled in Mumbai and Maharashtra,” JD(U) spokesman Neeraj Kumar said.
Referring to Lalu Prasad’s Rashtriya Janata Dal, Mr. Kumar said the party, which had been a constituent of the UPA government for years, should put pressure on the Centre to act against Mr. Thackeray.
BJP leader Giriraj Singh said he should be booked on charges of sedition for attacking the unity and integrity of the country.
RJD spokesman Ramkripal Yadav took umbrage at MNS chief’s offensive and said the people of Bihar had the constitutional right to live in any part of the country.
PCC chief Chaudhary Mehboon Ali Kaiser said he had written to Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan protesting against the remarks of Mr. Thackeray.
NCP general secretary Tariq Anwar said Mr. Thackeray was trying to strengthen his political base in Maharashtra by playing out regional politics.
LJP president Ramvilas Paswan accused the MNS chief of launching a hate campaign and asked the Centre to take stringent action against him. “It is a constitutional right of all citizens to live in any part of the country and seek employment,” he said.
In another development, a case was filed against Mr. Thackeray in a court in Muzaffarpur district for the alleged hate speech made by him against Biharis.