Raj Thackeray says attacks on institutions to continue

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Pune, July 20 (UNI) A defiant Maharashtra Navnirman Sena(MNS) President Raj Thackeray today hinted at more attacks on educational institutions giving preference in admissions to North Indian students.

Addressing a press conference here, Thackeray, cited provisions in the rule book of the All India Council for Technical Education that state that 80 per cent seats are to be given to local students and 20 per cent to outsiders.

''We want all the admission lists to be made public'', Thackeray said in his inimitable style, hinting at more ''action''.

''I strongly condemn the arrest of MNS workers under 'wrongful' sections'', he said adding that he wanted peace and did not have any personal animosity but it was the attitude of the owners of the educational institutions that he was protesting against.

The MNS had recently attacked insitutions in the city on the issue. Thackeray said the attacks would continue if they did not follow the rules by giving priority to locals and Marathi students.

''These education barons must be made accountable and answerable'', he said citing the Symbiosis, Sinhgad and Indira Institutions.

Thackeray said the education barons in the state have made a business of the education sector. ''They have regular dalals (agents) getting them Rs 50 lakh for a seat from north Indian students in far away places like Patna and Lucknow. Now, they are going further by acquiring huge tracts of land to run societies and providing hostel faciltiies to these students'', he said adding that the state's resources for the locals were getting depleted as preference was being given to outsiders. Over Rs 1500 crore is sent annually by way of money orders, the MNS supremo said.

He lashed out at NCP President and Union Agriculture minister Sharad Pawar for his recent comments. ''All he can do is think of money'', he remarked, saying that he had all the time to dabble in these petty affairs in the city when the Union Government was busy horse trading to survive in Delhi.

In a lighter vein, Thackeray informed that the new city Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh called on him today to know what he (Thackeray) was going to say. ''I advised him to focus on the city's traffic woes'', he said.

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