Bodhgaya (Bihar), Feb 2 (ANI): Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi has criticized both the Shiv Sena and the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) for their unwarranted attacks on north Indians, and said that every inch of India belongs to each and every Indian.
Gandhi, who is on a two-day visit to Bihar reminded both political outfits that the commandoes who saved Mumbai during the 26/11 terror attacks were north Indians.
During an interactive session with Youth Congress and National Students' Union of India (NSUI) workers in Bodhgaya, Gandhi said, "If terrorists have to be fought with, let Biharis remain there."
He further said that the commandoes, who forced their way into the besieged buildings, did not bother about which state they belonged to.
However, Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray described Rahul's comments as an insult to the memory of 26/11 martyrs like Hemant Karkare, Tukaram Ombale, Vijay Salaskar and Ashok Kamte.
"We are insisting that only Mumbai is for Mahrashtrians", Uddhav Thackeray claimed.
Meanwhile, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy said, "There will be no compromise and Maharashtra belongs to all Indians. There is some politics happening in Maharashtra which is the politics of alienation."
Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan also backed Gandhi.
Chavan said, "India is a democratic country. Does it mean that only the opinion of the MNS or Shiv Sena will be taken seriously? There'll be zero tolerance towards any nuisance."
RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat had come out in support of north Indians on Sunday asking Sangh workers to protect the community from attacks.
Bhagwat said, "Whole of India is for all Indians and all Indians can earn livelihood anywhere in India. Language, caste, sub-castes, groups, tribes can be different, but all are sons of India."
Both the Shiv Sena and the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) have been blaming the north Indians of flooding in Mumbai and taking away the jobs meant for the Marathis.
MNS in particular has been violent on the issue and its supporters have attacked north Indians putting up in Mumbai and other cities of Maharashtra accusing them to taking away the jobs meant for the local Marathi people.
Gandhi is on a two-day visit to the state to boost NSUI and Youth Congress Membership drive at a time when Bihar is preparing for assembly elections later this year. (ANI)