"Never Understood Rallies Taken Out By Muslims": Raj Thackeray On CAA

Over the last couple of months, Raj Thackeray has been speaking in favour of the CAA and the National Register of Citizens, using right-wing language and advocating tough measures.

'Never Understood Rallies Taken Out By Muslims': Raj Thackeray On CAA

Pakistanis and Bangladeshis should be thrown out, Raj Thackeray said (File)

Mumbai:

Raj Thackeray, the chief of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena held a mega rally on Sunday to show support for the contentious citizenship law which has triggered countrywide protests. For those holding protests against the law, the 51-year-old, known for his exclusionist brand of politics, sounded a warning.

"I want to tell people who took out rallies. For a rally, I have given you the answer with rally. If tomorrow you pick up a stone or sword, the answer will be with a stone or sword," he said.

It was accompanied by a swipe. "You get so much freedom in this country. So don't create any further drama," he said at the special rally that he promised last month.

Underscoring his support for the National Register of Citizens, the MNS chief said: "Is humanity something that only India needs to show? Even in other countries, if you don't have passport, there are 2 options - go back, or go in jail. Then why should we only care about humanity?"

"I never understood the rallies taken out by Muslims across the country. Who was going to throw you out if you have been staying here since birth? Pakistanis and Bangladeshis should be thrown out of the country. There should be no compromise on it," he said.

Over the last couple of months, Raj Thackeray has been speaking in favour of the CAA and the National Register of Citizens, using right-wing language and advocating tough measures.

Last month, he unveiled the party's new flag and launched his 27-year-old son Amit Thackeray - making it clear that the MNS is consolidating Hindutva credentials to occupy the space left vacant by the Shiv Sena following its alliance with the Congress and Sharad Pawar's Nationalist Congress Party.

It also means possible dividends for the BJP, after the break-up of its 35-year alliance with the Shiv Sena. "It takes a Thackeray to fight a Thackeray," a BJP leader has privately admitted, indicating a stage set for a Sena vs Sena battle that is expected to help the BJP gain.

For Sunday's rally, the MNS had reportedly asked permission for a route that cuts through the area where hundreds of women, inspired by Delhi's Shaheen Bagh protests, are holding an agitation. The police, however, refused permission for the route.