Raj Thackeray’s ancestral roots are in north India: Subramanian Swamy

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The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) on Monday criticised BJP leader Subramanian Swamy over his reported statement that the party chief Raj Thackeray’s ancestral roots are in north India.

Swamy made the remarks while addressing a lecture in Dombivli in neighbouring Thane district last night. The BJP MP reportedly referred to the autobiography of late Keshav Thackeray, grandfather of Raj Thackeray, while making the statement.

MNS, which projects itself as the sole guardian of the interest of Marathi manoos, has undertaken an aggressive ‘drive’ against hawkers outside suburban railway stations in Mumbai in the wake of the Elphinstone Road foot overbridge (FOB) stampede in September, which claimed 23 lives.

MNS leader Rajesh Kadam, who attended Swamy’s lecture, today said he confronted the BJP leader over his remarks.

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“Raj Thackeray has objected the presence of illegal hawkers who create a nuisance at railway stations. Mumbai is already over-crowded, but no action is taken against illegal hawkers, which leads to mishaps like the Elphinstone Road,” he said.

Kadam said he asked Swamy to prevail upon the BJP government in Centre as well as in Maharashtra to remove illegal hawkers and make Mumbai a clean and better living place.

“There was no need to dig up Thackeray’s ancestral issue. We are opposing only illegal hawkers and not entire community of hawkers,” he said.