Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray’s inflammatory speech against people from Bihar would be investigated, Maharashtra Home Minister R.R. Patil said here on Thursday.

“His speech will be probed and a legal inquiry will be initiated if it is established that he is guilty of virulent statements against people from Bihar,” he said.

At a party function on Friday, the MNS chief threatened to brand every settler from Bihar an infiltrator and send him packing from Maharashtra if the Bihar government attempted to impede investigations into the Azad Maidan rioting. The Bihar government had registered its displeasure at not being taken into confidence following the nabbing of an Azad Maidan rioter from Sitamarhi district.

Mr. Patil said the allegations against him were politically motivated. “There is no question of tendering my resignation simply because the MNS or the Shiv Sena is clamouring for it.” In interviews to television channels, the Minister attempted to clear the air in the wake of the incident.

Playing down speculation of his being moved from the Home Ministry, Mr. Patil thanked Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar for the former’s faith in him.

Meanwhile, Maharashtra president of the Samajwadi Party Abu Azmi has termed the MNS separatist and hate-spewing.

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