Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: Mumbai “belongs to all Indians” and every one is free to work in the city, Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram said on Monday. Rejecting the “pernicious thesis” of the Shiv Sena and the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, which are spearheading the ‘Mumbai for Maharashtrians’ campaign, he said the Maharashtra government was competent to handle the situation. The Centre would offer help, if needed.

“This is a pernicious thesis, and it will have to be rejected. Anyone can work and live in Mumbai,” Mr. Chidambaram said. The Minister’s statement, the first from the top echelons of the government, comes on the heels of the Shiv Sena and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh taking on each other over the issue.

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