Workers of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena on Sunday vandalised several Gujarati signboards in Vasai in Thane district, while returning from party chief Raj Thackeray’s rally in Mumbai’s Shivaji Park.
In his speech on the occasion of Marathi New Year, Gudi Padwa, Thackeray had voiced his opposition to Gujarati signboards posted outside hotels along highways, the Hindustan Times reported. On their way to Boisar district after attending the rally, MNS workers damaged the Gujarati signboards of at least six hotels on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad highway.
“We just followed our leader’s orders,” said Kundan Sankhe, MNS leader from Boisar. “As per the rules, all signboards should be in Marathi, but to attract Gujarati and Rajasthani customers, hotel owners put up boards in Gujarati. We will not tolerate such gross violation of rules.”
Thane MNS President Avinash Jadhav told PTI that party workers had pulled down at least 20 such signs. “Vasai and Thane district are in Maharashtra, not Gujarat, and we will not tolerate name boards in Gujarati anymore,” he said, adding that they will continue their protest.
The police in Thane district’s Waliv town registered a case against six MNS workers on Monday for the vandalism, ANI reported. Additional Superintendent of Vasai Police Roshan Rajtilak had told the Hindustan Times that the hotel owners had filed complaints.
In his speech on Sunday, Thackeray had called for a “Modi-mukt” India, or a country free of Prime Minister Narendra Modi – similar to the Bharatiya Janata Party’s repeated calls for a Congress-free India. “The country is fed up with the false promises made by Narendra Modi and his government,” he had said.