Demands Maharashtra to make registration of migrants compulsory

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray on Sunday hurled vicious barbs at the polity and media in Bihar for “distorting” his statements against people from that State.

At a party function on Friday, the MNS chief threatened to brand “every immigrant from Bihar an infiltrator” and send him packing from Maharashtra if the Bihar administration attempted to impede police probe into the Azad Maidan rioting.

On Sunday, at a gathering of party workers, he said: “Why do all criminals only go to States like Bihar and other northern States?”, alluding to the nabbing of one of the Azad Maidan rioters from Bihar’s Sitamarhi district.

“My statements were ripped out of context by a hyperactive media in Bihar, who are simply bent on keeping the temperature of the country at boiling point,” he said.

“I had said ‘if’ the Bihar government dared launch an inquiry into the Mumbai police’s actions ... but the Hindi television channels in Bihar simply blew my statements out of proportion to further their TRP ratings,” he said, warning that he would shut down Hindi channels in Maharashtra if his statements were not reported correctly.

In a speech seasoned with his trademark virulent threats, mordant humour and lampooning, Mr. Thackeray asked when the Maharashtra government and the police would make registration compulsory for migrants. He said as many as 48 trains from Bihar, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh daily rolled into Maharashtra.

“Who knows how many people are entering the State daily. There is no track record of their activities,” he said. He exhorted the State government to make registration of migrant workers mandatory on the lines of Kerala. The MNS chief hit out at Home Minister R.R. Patil’s claim of not having received any letter from the Bihar Chief Secretary registering displeasure over the Bihar administration not being taken into confidence while nabbing the rioter from Sitamarhi.

“The Mumbai Police Commissioner says he has received this letter … it has come out in newspapers. Yet the Home Minister feigns ignorance. No wonder I’m demanding his resignation,” he said.

Justifying his warning that artists from Pakistan should not be allowed to perform in India until the Pakistan government stopped executing terror strikes against India, he said: “What is wrong in my statements? They are earning money from India … nobody asks for them in Pakistan, so why encourage them here?”

“This is not a Hindu-Muslim issue,” he stressed. When the public watched Bollywood films starring the three Khans, they never questioned their surnames, he said.

Mr. Thackeray had urged singer Asha Bhosle not to share space with artists from Pakistan on musical reality show ‘Sur Kshetra’.