Shiv Sena CEO Uddhav Thackeray has slammed Nirupam's comments and said that this was a ploy to play the UP card ahead of the upcoming Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) elections.
The controversial comment was made by Nirupam at a party meeting in Nagpur when he said, "North Indians play a crucial role in Mumbai. We are told that we, Hindi-speaking migrants, are a burden on Mumbai. This is not true. Actually, it is we who bear Mumbai's burden. If North Indians make up their mind, they can bring Mumbai to a halt'."
It, however remains a fact that Mumbai's buzzling service sector is predominantly ruled by migrants from UP, Bihar and Jharkhand.
With a war of words ensuing following the controversial remarks, Uddhav warned Nirupam not to bring Mumbai on its knees and said in stern words, " If he persists, we will make him swallow his teeth."
Only recently, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) led by Raj Thackeray kickstarted a campaign against autorickshaw drivers who were mostly UP or Bihari migrants and were seen playing the Marathi card .
This time around on Nirupam's acidic remarks, Uddhav has sought a clarification from the Congress and if it endorses Nirupam's view. He added, "Balasaheb Thackeray had, in his Dussehra rally address, warned that there was a conspiracy to delink Mumbai from Maharashtra. Nirupam's Nagpur speech has confirmed our fears."
He also mounted his tirade against deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar, who is also Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) member. He said, "Pawar too should respond to Nirupam's remark.''