NCP, MNS activists turn to violence in Maharashtra
Mumbai, Feb 27 : Tension erupted between NCP and MNS activists in Mumbai and other parts of the state Tuesday following a Monday rally addressed by Raj Thackeray in Ahmednagar.
Angry NCP activists pelted stones at vehicles in Raj Thackeray's convoy early Tuesday in Mumbai and waved black flags at the MNS chief when his vehicle passed by last night.
In retaliation, activists of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) targeted Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) offices in south Mumbai and suburbs, as well as Ahmednagar, Nanded, Akola, Yavatmal, Parbhani, Thane and damaged private and public vehicles.
The provocation behind the violence is believed to be Thackeray's political rallies in which he has targeted NCP and its top leaders like Sharad Pawar, his nephew Ajit Pawar and Home Minister R.R. Patil.
"In democratic politics, anybody is free to criticize anybody. But, how will activists digest the kind of abusive language used by him (Raj Thackeray)? This is absolutely deplorable," an agitated NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik told IANS Tuesday.
"If anybody takes the law in their hands, the police and government shall deal with them appropriately," Malik warned, adding that details of attacks on NCP offices, workers and other places were being collected.
According to reports, stones were pelted at NCP offices in Thane, Mumbai, Bandra, Ahmednagar, Parbhani while public buses were attacked in Yavatmal, Akola and Nanded early Tuesday.
Police have tightened security and the situation is stated to be under control.
Virtually shifting into poll mode for next year's Lok Sabha and Maharashtra assembly elections, Thackeray has been attacking top NCP leaders at well-attended rallies as part of his ongoing state tour.
To the discomfiture of the NCP, he has also raised uncomfortable issues and questions pertaining to various departments handled by the NCP in the state government.