NCP workers attack Raj Thackeray's convoy, brawl follows

Pune/Mumbai, Feb 27: Suspected NCP workers pelted stones at Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray's convoy in Ahmednagar district on Tuesday evening, police said. NCP workers also waved black flags. The incident took place around 8.30 pm at Bhingar in the Western Maharashtra district, about 125 km from Pune, local police inspector Shankarrao Deshmukh told PTI by phone.

No injury was reported, he said. Around 50 NCP workers had gathered at Bhingar, where Raj was visiting for party-related work, to protest against his criticism of senior party leader and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar.

The MNS chief has been critical of NCP leaders at his recent public rallies. He has especially targeted Ajit Pawar, holding him responsible for the severe drought in the state.

According to Raj, the water resources department, which Ajit Pawar headed between 1999 and 2009, had failed to take steps to prevent water scarcity despite spending huge amount of sums on irrigation projects.

Meanwhile, senior MNS leaders Bala Nandgaonkar and Shirish Parkar said in Mumbai that they were unaware about the incident.

MNS supporters hit back

MNS supporters targeted NCP offices in south Mumbai and suburbs and in places like Ahmednagar, Nanded, Akola, Parbhani, Yavatmal and Thane and ransacked vehicles. Scuffle also broke out between the supporters of the two parties in many places.

Earlier, an agitated NCP leader said everybody had the right to criticise others but that did not mean one could use abusive language, indicating at Raj Thackeray's attack against his party leaders. He also said that the police and the government would deal with those who dared to take law in their own hands. He added that the details of the MNS's attack on their party offices and establishments were being noted down.

The MNS chief has been attacking top NCP leaders at rallies he is holding across the state as part of the preparation for the next year's Lok Sabha polls and next state assembly elections.

Thackeray raised several uncomfortable issues pertaining to various departments in the state government which are handled by the NCP.


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