not the first time that Raj Thackeray and Samajwadi Party leader Abu
Asim Azmi, who was assaulted by Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS)
members in the Maharashtra Assembly, have crossed swords.
rivalry between the two leaders began last year, when Raj Thackeray
launched an anti-North Indian campaign, demanding rights for
campaign took a violent turn when MNS men thrashed North Indians,
forcing several of them to leave the State.
Thackeray even opposed celebrating Chhat pooja and North India Day
in Maharashtra and said “only Maharashtra Day must be celebrated in
to this Azmi got into a war of words with Raj Thackeray and said he
would distribute batons to the people to protect them from MNS men.
Thackeray retaliated, saying he would distribute swords to Marathi
people to take on the batons.
leaders were arrested in February 2008 under various sections of IPC.
the Assembly session began on Monday, a political debate was started
as Azmi demanded the House agenda in Hindi.
is our national language and it should come after Marathi.
the House agenda and other papers were in Marathi and English. So, I
wrote to the Assembly secretary demanding the agenda in Hindi,” Azmi,
who was elected from Mankhurd in central Mumbai and Bhiwandi in
Thane district had said.
over Azmi’s demand, Raj Thackeray, known for his anti-North Indian
campaign, said “If Azmi wants the House agenda in Hindi, then he
should go to Uttar Pradesh.”
candidates of the MNS have been elected to the Assembly while 11 of
the Republican Left Democratic Front (RLDF), which also includes SP,
were elected in the State Assembly polls.
candidates were suspended for assaulting Azmi on the first day of
the session, after he began taking oath in Hindi.