Do not interfere in Maharashtra: Thackeray to Lalu

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Mumbai, Feb 25: Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray has asked Union Railway Minister Lalu Prasad not to interfere in Maharashtra politics. Mr Thackeray's comment comes in the wake of the demand by several Bihar legislators belonging to Lalu's Prasad party that Governor R S Gavai should go back to Maharashtra.

Mr Thackeray's remarks peared in the editorial of Shiv Sena mouthpiece ''Saamna'' today. The editorial is entitled ''Chara Kha, Maharashtrala Apshakun Karu Naka'', which, if loosely translated, means ''Go and eat fodder but do not malign Maharashtra. Mr Thackeray, who is the editor of , ''Saamna'' has strongly condemned the demand to send back Mr Gavai to Maharashtra ''just because a few Biharis were attacked in Mumbai''.

While lauding Mr Gavai for being a staunch follower of Dr B R Ambedkar, Mr Thackeray recalled that upon assuming office as the Bihar Governor, Mr Gavai had remarked that he has now become a Bihari. ''How many leaders in Maharashtra, with Bihar origin, can take a similar stand?'' Mr Thackeray asked.

Instead of asking Mr Gavai to go back, Lalu Prasad and his followers should ask Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who is an Italian, to ''chale jao'', Mr Thackeray has said. However, Laloo Prasad Yadav prefers to describe Ms Gandhi as ''Rashtramata'', he said.

The Shiv Sena chief pointed out that although Maharashtra has differences with Karnataka on the border issue, it has still accepted Mr S M Krishna as the Governor. This goes to show Maharashtra's culture of magnanimity, he added.

UNI

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