Raj Thackeray’s party now targets Uttar Pradesh Day


Mumbai : People from Uttar Pradesh (UP) have been threatened once again by Raj Thackeray’s Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) – this time over the proposed celebration here of ‘Uttar Pradesh Divas’, the state’s foundation day.

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MNS has put up posters in some parts of south Mumbai, indicating the consequences if people from Uttar Pradesh decide to celebrate UTTar Pradesh (UP) Divas here Saturday (Jan 24).

One poster shows Raj with a raised finger, announcing that in Maharasthra, only Maharashtra Day (May 1), must be celebrated.

Yet another shows a poor UP ‘bhaiyya’ (term for migrants from the state) celebrating UP Divas, being kicked on the back by an MNS activist.

MNS vice-president V. Saraswat said that there was no need to celebrate days of any other state in Mumbai or Maharashtra, and the people from other states were welcome to celebrate Maharashtra Day.

“Moreover, even the UP government does not officially consider Jan 24 as the state foundation day. It has no celebrations of any kind there that day. Then the question of some elements here celebrating the non-existent UP Divas does not arise,” Saraswat told IANS here Monday morning.

Dismissing it as a ‘political stunt’ by some political and social leaders of UP, he said if they persist with their plans, “they are well aware of the MNS’ strength”.

Meanwhile, Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) general secretary Sanjay Nirupam has castigated the MNS moves to disrupt the proposed UP Divas celebrations and urged the state government to take action in the matter.

“People from all states and communities have the right to celebrate their respective festivals or important days as they wish. Nobody has the right to stop them. I shall take up the issue with the state government immediately,” Nirupam told IANS.

In the past 20 years, several social and cultural organisations of people from UP have celebrated UP Divas at various locations in the city and suburbs Jan 24.

Last year, the MNS had also threatened to disrupt the Chhat Puja, where people from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar worship the sun god. It later backed down and the event passed off peacefully.