Raj Thackeray's Aurangabad event violated 16 conditions; police action likely
Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray delivered a fiery, controversial speech in a packed Aurangabad venue on Maharashtra Day (Sunday). However, the event has come under the police scanner for violating 16 conditions set by the administration for holding the rally. The Aurangabad Police will investigate the matter and press charges against the MNS supremo and the event organizers accordingly, said reports.
- Last month, during his Thane rally, Thackeray issued an ultimatum to the Maharashtra government led by his estranged cousin—Uddhav Thackeray.
- The MNS chief declared if loudspeakers weren't taken down from mosques by May 3 (Tuesday), they will play Hanuman Chalisa loudly outside the mosques.
- On Sunday, Thackeray reiterated his commitment to the May 3 deadline for removing loudspeakers from mosques, calling it a "nuisance."
Addressing the public rally in Aurangabad, Thackeray said, "I won't be responsible for what all happens after the May 3 deadline to remove the loudspeakers from the mosques." "If they [Muslims] don't understand nicely, we will show them the power of Maharashtra," he stated. "All loudspeakers [atop the mosques] are illegal. Is it a concert that so many loudspeakers are being used?" he questioned.
Thackeray further attacked Maharashtra's government while narrating selective episodes from history involving Alauddin Khilji and Aurangzeb. Singling out Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) supremo Sharad Pawar, Thackeray accused him of sowing discord among citizens through caste politics. He alleged Pawar was allergic to the word "Hindu."
While granting Thackeray permission for the rally, the Aurangabad Police earlier laid down 16 conditions. He was asked not to use offensive slogans or make religious, casteist, or regional remarks during or after the event. However, a News18 report suggested Thackeray violated all 16 conditions during the rally—just two days ahead of the Eid festival and the May 3 deadline for removal of loudspeakers.
Moreover, the MNS supremo's son—Amit Thackeray—will reportedly lead a "Maha Aarti" in Mumbai at 6:30 pm on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Thackeray's divisive remarks in Aurangabad have sparked outrage among politicians across party lines. Aam Aadmi Party's Mumbai unit chief, Preeti Sharma Menon, urged CM Uddhav Thackeray to act quickly against the MNS chief's "provocative remarks." "If needed, there should be a preemptive arrest," she said.
Shiv Sena's Sanjay Raut earlier termed Thackeray's call for the removal of loudspeakers from mosques as "divisive." Chandra Shekhar Azad-led Bhim Army had also complained to the Election Commission and Maharashtra's DGP against the MNS chief's demand. "If loudspeakers are the main point of violence, then it should be banned in temples, mosques, gurdwaras, everywhere," Congress leader Rashid Alvi earlier stated.