Raj Thackeray delivers a shock to MES

Raj Thackeray delivers a shock to MES

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Raj Thackeray delivers a shock to MES

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray gave a jolt to the Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti (MES) members from Belgaum who called on him, by advising them that instead of agitating for a secession from Karnataka, they should lead a “respectful” life in Karnataka, adding “After all, I don’t see any problem with Belgaum being a part of Karnataka.”

Talking to the press here on Monday after meeting a delegation of MES leaders, the MNS chief without did not mince words.

“I asked them (MES leaders) very clearly what exactly is the problem of Marathi-speaking people there? Are you being hounded because you are Marathi-speaking or is it because you are raising the question of inclusion of Belgaum into Maharashtra? They did not have any answer to this. So I suggested to them not to make an emotional issue.”

According to the MNS leader, “ I told them very clearly, Maharashtra is in a bad shape...assuming even if Belgaum does become a part of Maharashtra...then what? Your condition would be like the farmers in Marathwada and Vidarbha. Then you would be once more agitating,” he told the MNS team.

“Maharashtra has a population of 10 crore and Belgaum region has a population of 25 lakh. Maharashtra is not a rich state as made out...add this 25 lakh to 10 crore...does it make any sense?”

Known for his vitriolic remarks and parochial views, Raj Thackeray ironically advised MES leaders that they “should live in Karnataka with sanman (pride) and if the state (Karnataka) is welcoming them... giving them their due place in society, then where is the need to go around bickering, creating bad blood? I personally feel that the decades-old agitation is being kept alive by people with vested interest.”

Without mentioning any particular political outfit, MNS leader dropped ample hints at the political rival, the regionalistic ideology espousing Shiv Sena, was egging on the MES to keep its separatist agenda alive.

“There are people here (Maharashtra) who are interested in Belgaum land. They are just interested in exploiting the people. These people do not have interests of Maharashtrians at heart. They just want to expand their empire,” he said.

“Why should one call for a state-bundh here and threaten people from that state residing here...who is going to pay for this? You people. The politicians stoking this fire have a clear-cut agenda and that revolves around their empire thats all,” the MNS leader summed up.