Ranchi/Patna/Jammu/Lucknow/Ludhiana/Mumbai, Feb 7: Leaders across political spectrum have condemned the agitation against north Indian immigrants in Mumbai, and protests as a result of it continue to rock North India.
The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), led by Raj Thackeray, recently began a campaign against "outsiders" and targeted migrants from North India, accusing them of robbing Maharashtrians of their jobs. Telugu Desam Party (TDP) President and leader of the United National Progressive Alliance (UNPA) N Chandrababu Naidu, described the MNS agitation as deplorable.
"The way the incident happened in Mumbai, it is bad. I totally condemn the incident. They are thinking that they will threaten and people will run away," Naidu said. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati also condemned the violence in Mumbai.
"Party workers of Raj Thackeray demolished the houses of North Indians. Our party condemns it. The Constitution of the country does not say that people of other states cannot reside in Maharashtra," Mayawati said. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) activists staged a protest march in Jammu and burnt effigies of Thackeray.
Similar protests were also witnessed in Lucknow where lawyers shouted anti-Raj Thackeray slogans and demanded his arrest.
Truckers in Ludhiana too protested against excesses meted out to their fellow workers in Mumbai.
Amidst the sudden glare that catapulted it to centerstage, the MNS, however, was in for a setback on Wednesday as about 200 MNS workers defected to merge with the Shiv Sena party.
"Two hundred workers of MNC have joined Shiv Sena and Uddhav Thackeray has welcome the party workers. All the party workers have expressed their faith in Bal Thackeray," said Vinayak Raut, a Shiv Sena leader.
For generations, migrants from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar and elsewhere have flooded Mumbai, displacing Maharashtrians in jobs and taking control of the economy.
Mumbai Taxi Strike: 55,000 taxis were on strike in Mumbai to protest against MNS workers who pelted stones at their union office at central Mumbai. Later, it was called off.