The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) has reportedly decided to duck Muslim majority areas in Mumbai for their proposed rally to be held on Sunday, February 9, against the illegal immigrants in Mumbai.
MNS chief Raj Thackeray had announced at a rally last month that his party would organise a rally against the illegal immigrants in Mumbai. The party had later announced that the rally would commence from Jijamata Udyan at Byculla and conclude at the Azad Maidan near Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) on the Central Railway. However, the Mumbai police were not willing to provide a permit to organise the rally as the route envisaged passed through densely populated Muslim neighbourhoods. The final call on the route was to be decided by the party on Monday.
Shunning its earlier proposed route that went through crammed Muslim localities, the party today provided an alternative route between Girgaum Chowpati and Azad Maidan to carry out the aforesaid rally against the illegal immigrants.
Senior MNS leader Bala Nandgaonkar today stated that the police have permitted them to carry out the rally with the revised route plan, claiming it was shorter and also avoided passing through Muslim dominated areas. Nandgaokar also issued a clarification that the rally organised by MNS is against illegal migrants and should not be seen as being in favour of CAA or NRC.
The party supremo, Raj Thackeray, too had last week provided an explanation that his statements against illegal migrants were misinterpreted as being in support of the CAA and NRC. This is in stark contrast to what Thackeray had said in his rally in Mumbai last month.
In a rally held on January 23, 2020, Thackeray exhorted the government to throw out Muslims from Pakistan and Bangladesh out of India and extended his support to PM Modi on this. “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.