After teetering around the periphery of political oblivion for some time, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena has shown unprecedented alacrity in staking a claim at the Hindu Nationalist space in Maharashtra that was vacated by Shiv Sena on the account of their new ‘secular-liberal’ alliance with Congress and NCP to form a government in the state.
The Raj Thackeray-led party has doubled down on its strategy of cornering the Uddhav Thackeray government on the issue of pervasive illegal immigrants from Bangladesh and Pakistan in Maharashtra.
The workers of MNS today put up a poster outside Matoshree, the residence of CM Uddhav Thackeray, seeking to evict Muslim immigrants from Pakistan and Bangladesh from the colonies which have cropped up in CM’s own area-Bandra. “Bangladeshi and Pakistani infiltrators need to be evicted from India. If this is your stand, then you need to clean up these colonies of infiltrators which have cropped up in your own backyard in Bandra first,” the poster read.
MNS is set to organise a massive rally on upcoming Sunday, February 9, against the illegal immigrants from Pakistan and Bangladesh residing in Mumbai. Last month, firebrand politician Raj Thackeray had announced about the rally while launching an offensive against the illegal immigrants. “India needs to intensify its security even if it means people are inconvenienced. We are a ticking bomb. It is important to throw out Muslims from Pakistan and Bangladesh and for this, I am with Prime Minister Modi,” he had said.
Recently, the MNS had also put up flags in Panvel, Navi Mumbai, asking Pakistani and Bangladeshi illegal immigrants to leave or get evicted “MNS-style”.
Sena, however, has been maintaining that they do not see MNS’ new avatar as a threat. In an earlier Saamana editorial, Shiv Sena had stated that Raj Thackeray should stay firm with Hindutva, even if it has been borrowed from Shiv Sena. They added that MNS is unlikely to get any political leverage from it as Shiv Sena had never shed their “saffron colour.”