No politics in Nitish Kumar's Mumbai visit

Nitish Kumar
Mumbai, Apr 12: After Nitish Kumar's statement that nobody can stop him from visiting Mumbai to attend Bihar's centenary celebrations here rubbed Raj Thackeray-led MNS the wrong way, the organisers today clarified the event is purely socio-cultural and has no political overtones.

"It is purely a socio-cultural event which has no political overtones. With due respect to all parties and politicians in Maharashtra, I would like to say that no political message is intended to be given through the event," former Bihar minister and convenor for the event Devesh Chandra Thakur told reporters.

Asked for his comment on MNS's reported opposition to his visit to the metropolis, Kumar had said in Patna on Monday that there was no ban on the visit and he could go anywhere.

"I don't need a visa to go to Mumbai," he was reported to have said. Though nobody from MNS has formally announced the party's opposition to Kumar's visit to celebrate the centenary year of Bihar's creation, recent media reports said the party will not allow the celebration on April 15. "Mumbai is the capital of Maharashtra. If anybody tries to show Maharashtra's culture and Marathi language in a bad light, it will not be tolerated," a top MNS leader had said on condition of anonymity, adding Raj Thackeray would make clear the party's stand on the issue.

Thakur, who has had his education in Maharashtra, said he personally had great respect for the Thackeray family. "I have great regard for the Thackeray family for their nationalist views.

What they have at heart, they also have on their tongue," he said. Claiming that the event was "apolitical", Thakur said it was evident as Kumar was visiting the state as chief minister of Bihar and not as a leader his party JD(U).

"No politician or minister from Bihar is accompanying him. There is a JD(U)-BJP coalition government in Bihar and BJP is in alliance with Shiv Sena in Maharashtra. We could have roped in BJP for the Bihar Divas celebrations here, but we have not done that," Thakur, a JD(U) MLC, said, adding "nobody should have any misgivings about the event." 


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