Mumbai, Oct 24: Criticising Congress MP Sanjay Nirupam's statement concerning north Indians, Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray today challenged him to bring Mumbai to a halt.
Nirupam, while addressing a public rally in Nagpur yesterday, had indirectly targetted the Shiv Sena and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) over the attacks on north Indians in the state. “North Indians could bring Mumbai to a halt if they chose to,” he had said.
However, Thackeray today warned Nirupam of dire consequences if he dared to bring the city to a halt, as he has threatened to.
Thackeray alleged that Nirupam has raked up the controversy just to catch the media attention.
“He is doing all this to grab the media limelight. The elections are round the corner and his statement is aimed at dividing the Marathi vote-bank,” the Sena leader said while talking to reporters here.
Thackeray further said that all the north Indians are not Nirupam's personal fiefdom. “During the 1992-93 Mumbai riots, the Shiv Sena had given protection to the north Indians,” he said.
Referring to Sena supremo Bal Thackeray's statement during the Dussehra rally about resorting to violence if Mumbai was to be severed from Maharashtra, Thackeray said, “When Sena supremo raised the issue of Mumbai at the rally, he was criticised.”
Thackeray also sought to know whether the Congress party endorsed Nirupam's statements.
However, Congress distanced itself from the issue saying, Nirupam's statement was his “personal view”.
“It is his personal view. And Congress has nothing to with it. The party has never taken such a stand. I do not have all the information about what he (Nirupam) said. I will have check in what context he said this,” MPCC spokesperson Anant Gadgil said.