MNS chief challenges Lalu Prasad

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Pune, May 25 (UNI) A defiant Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) leader Raj Thackeray today threw a challenge to Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Lalu Prasad, saying that latter would not be allowed to come out of the Mumbai airport if he went ahead with his proposed 'Chhat Puja' in November.

Addressing a huge gathering at Alka Talkie chowk here, Mr Thackeray said there was no need for Lalu Prasad to throw his political weight in the state, and he would be given the ''proper treatment''in MNS style if he managed to come out of the airport.

Raising the issue of Marathi 'Manoos' once again, he said he would not allow people from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar to take away jobs meant for Maharashtrian-speaking people.

He also warned educational institutions in the state to give priority to Maharashtrians during admission, saying the institutes give preference to students from outside Maharashtra only for the sake of money.

''We don't mind them coming and studying here, but they must leave the state after completing the studies,'' he said.

Mr Raj was unrepentant about industries being closed in Maharashtra on account of shortage of labour from north India as they had fled the state.

''If the industry had to prosper only because of the migrant workers and their presence here, it is better that such industries close down,'' he thundered.

The MNS leader was denied permission to enter the city by the city police for the past ten days, but was granted only this afternoon.

A huge crowd, mostly youth, had gathered to hear their leader while waving the party flag and shouting slogans.

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