Defiant MNS asks Mumbai residents not to pay toll tax

Defying Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan's threat of action, the Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) Sunday called upon the people of Mumbai not to pay road toll taxes, a party official said.

The party sent SMSs to million of Mumbaikars urging them not to pay the toll till the collection process became completely transparent and fair. "MNS chief Raj Thackeray has appealed to people not to pay toll till the process become transparent. So, don't pay the toll and allow this loot to take place," the Marathi SMSs issued Sunday afternoon urged.

Earlier Sunday, over 1,000 MNS activists and others took out a rally in south Mumbai decrying the toll collection and demanding an end to "the loot" by toll contractors. The developments came barely a day after Chavan warned the MNS of action if its activists the toll collection process at six toll centres in the city and bordering Mumbai.

Chavan had also cautioned vehicle owners against "taking the law into their hands" by not paying the toll tax, as demanded by the MNS. Since the past nearly three weeks, MNS has been continuing an aggressive agitation against toll tax. Its activists not only stopped toll collection at some centres briefly, they also damaged the toll stations and chased away their officials on duty in different parts of the state.

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