Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray called a State-wide agitation against toll collection from February 12. At a public rally here on Sunday, Mr. Thackeray said: “There will be a State-wide rasta roko on February 12. I will lead the protest myself. If the State has the courage, it can stop me.”
The agitations began on January 26 when Mr. Thackeray urged his supporters not to pay toll, sparking violent protests at toll booths across the State by MNS activists.
Mr. Thackeray said: “I am not against tolls, but the process. I am not that impractical. What happens to the money after it is collected? If it is going to Ministers’ homes, we will not pay toll. We will not sponsor their election fund.”
He said Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan admitted that the toll collection policy was flawed. “But he said his hands are tied because of coalition politics.”
The Congress is ruling Maharashtra in alliance with the Nationalist Congress Party.
Criticising the Shiv Sena’s opposition to his agitation, Mr. Thackeray said: “My protest is against the government. The Shiv Sena is supposed to be an Opposition party. Why is it supporting the government?”