Varanasi : Veteran social activist Anna Hazare backs Maharashtra Navnirmaan Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray’s campaign against non-Marathi ‘Dadagiri’ (dominance) in Maharashtra, but opposes the violent means being used to achieve the purpose.
The 71-year-old social activist expressed support for MNS’s programme, while talking to journalists Saturday night after addressing students of the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) on ‘Gram Swaraj and Experience in Ralegan’, his native village in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra which he transformed into a model village through persistent efforts.
“Some ideas of Raj Thackeray were correct, but damaging public and national property was not right,” Hazare said.
When asked which ideas of the MNS chief were correct, Hazare noted people from many states live in Maharashtra, but “outsiders trying to prove their dominance in the state was not at all acceptable”.
In a reference to North India-based political parties like Samajwadi Party and Rashtriya Janata Dal trying to show their strength in Maharashtra by holding rallies and other programmes in the state, he said such activities were not acceptable.
“They have ample space in their states to hold such programmes,” he noted.
When asked to comment on attacks by MNS activists on students from Bihar who had gone to Mumbai to appear in railway recruitment exams, Hazare said: “I do not support everything Raj Thackeray does. If violent means are adopted by MNS, it will not be in interest of a united India.”
“We need to work for unity of the country and not for its disintegration through violence against innocents,” he added.