Mumbai : Striking a conciliatory note, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray Friday asserted that he was not opposed to any religious celebration like Chhat Puja, provided such events were not “politicised”.
Addressing the media for the first time after his arrest last week and a spate of attacks against non-Maharashtrians in the city and the rest of Maharashtra, Raj said religious gatherings like Chhat Puja should not be reduced to “political tamashas”.
“I have been attending such celebrations, including Durga Puja and Ram Lila celebrations, at Shivaji Park since childhood. My comments were misinterpreted to convey an impression that I am opposed to Chhat Puja,” said Raj.
Chhat Puja is primarily a festival of people from Bihar and will be celebrated at different venues in Mumbai next week. The MNS’ attacks on north Indians had raised doubts over whether people would celebrate it.
The MNS has been under fire from many quarters for its hate campaign against non-Maharashtrians.