“If You Make It A Religious Issue, Will Answer With Religion”: Raj Thackeray’s Warning

Aurangabad: Amid the on going azaan row, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena Chief Raj Thackeray has warned the State Goverment over removal of loudspeakers. He has said that if from May 4 onwards, loudspeakers are not removed, “we won’t keep quiet”. He further added that if you make it a religious issue then will answer with religion.

“What happens after that in Maharashtra, I don’t know. I want to tell the cops here (to) go out and start removing these loudspeakers right now,” he said.

“To the cops of Sambhajinagar (Aurangabad), we will show you strength. Stop these acts by them (Muslims). Remove all loudspeakers even from temples and other religious places, but first remove (from) theirs (mosques),” said the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief at a mega rally in Aurangabad.

Giving example of Uttar Pradesh he said, “If Uttar Pradesh could do it, then why not Maharashtra?” asked Thackeray. He also clarified that the issue hasn’t been raised now, but has been debated in the past too. “I was asked by a reporter why I suddenly demanded the removal of loudspeakers. I said, ‘suddenly’? No. This has been raised before too.”

He maintained his stance of issue being a social one and not religious one.

“But if you make it a religious issue, we will answer it with religion,” the MNS chief said.

For organising the rally, Aurangabad police had set a total of 16 terms and conditions before giving permission to MNS chief for holding this rally.

Thackeray was asked to avoid using offensive slogans, and religious, casteist and regional references during or after the rally. The public address held much significance as it came a day before India celebrates Eid and the deadline (May 3) of Thackeray’s anti-loudspeakers campaign on mosques neared.

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