"I'm disturbed by the arrest of over 700 of my party workers by the police in a surprise overnight operation. My party wants to restore Marathi 'asmita (pride)' and that is why we have taken up the issue of Marathi on signboards. But I'm now appealing to my party workers to stay calm," Raj said at party headquarters Rajgad in Dadar on Thursday evening.
What we are asking is that the law of the state should be implemented, but instead we are being targeted. The state should resolve to implement the law, which dates back to 1961, instead of cracking the whip on the MNS workers, Raj added.
Stating that the withdrawal was temporary, Raj said that he and his party would wait and watch the measures that would be adopted by Bombay High Court and the Government regarding the Marathi signboards."We would decide about a new course of action if they fail to act", he added.
Raj lamented that it was the police action that had upset him more obviously. The manner in which police rounded up activists, including shakha and vibhag pramukhs, from homes sent the party reeling, leaders admitted. "The police insisted on keeping our men in the lock-up for 14 days. The government wants to crush our party but it will not succeed." Senior leader, Shishir Shinde said.