The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) would organize its own protest in Mumbai on Saturday demanding apology from the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) for `insulting' Dr B R Ambedkar and Hindu deities, it announced.
The Shiv Sena (UBT), Nationalist Congress Party and Congress, which are partners in the MVA, have already announced that they would take out a `morcha' (protest march) against the Maharashtra government in the city on Saturday.
Mumbai BJP president Ashish Shelar told reporters on Friday that Sena (UBT) leader Sanjay Raut tried to create a controversy over Ambedkar's birthplace, while another leader Sushma Andhare `insulted' Lord Ram, Lord Krishna, saint Dynaneshwar and saint Eknath as well as the Warkari community.
"Is this not anti-Maharashtra?" he asked.
Despite his party's leaders "insulting Hindu gods and hurting Hindu sentiments," Uddhav Thackeray was not ready to break his silence, Shelar said.
"Why conduct the farce of a protest march,'' he asked.
Shelar, a former minister, alleged that Raut made a false statement that Ambedkar was born in Maharashtra which was an attempt to create controversy over his birthplace.
''Congress defeated Ambedkar in elections in the past, and Uddhav Thackeray joined hands with the Congress to form government. Hence, `Maafi Maango (apologise) marches have been organised in all six Lok Sabha constituencies in Mumbai," he said.
Dr B R Ambedkar was born in Mhow, Madhya Pradesh.
Reacting to the BJP's allegations, Maharashtra Congress president Nana Patole said the BJP was terrified of the MVA's scheduled protest march as it would bring to the fore the unrest among the people.
''The BJP's protest march is laughable," he said, adding that the ruling party did not act against governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, its leaders Mangal Prabhat Lodha and Sudhanshu Trivedi and others who "insulted" Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.
Sanjay Rau said the MVA's protest march is against `injustice' meted out to Maharashtra, `insults' of the state's icons like Shivaji Maharaj and Mahatma Phule, and `atrocities' against Marathi-speakers in border areas of Karnataka as well as industrial projects being taken out of the state.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)