Before visiting Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh next month, Union minister and RPI(A) leader Ramdas Athawale has asked Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray to apologise to North Indians. During a press conference in Thane on Monday, Mr Athawale also stated that Maharashtra needs a Brahmin chief minister.
Raosaheb Danve, a senior BJP leader and Union minister, said earlier this month that he wishes a Brahmin to be the next chief minister of Maharashtra, which is now led by Shiv Sena’s Uddhav Thackeray. Raj Thackeray’s proposed visit to Ayodhya on June 5 has been met with opposition, with BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh warning that he will not be allowed to enter the Uttar Pradesh city until he apologises publicly for ‘humiliating’ North Indians.
In its early years, the MNS championed the cause of ‘Marathi Manoos,’ and in 2008, it staged an agitation in Kalyan, near Thane, during which candidates from North India who arrived to take a railway exam were assaulted. Raj Thackeray urged that loudspeakers be removed from mosques in Maharashtra last month, a demand backed by the main opposition BJP.