18th Nov, 2017
The MNS has been campaigning against hawkers near stations since Elphinstone Road stampede; promises to hold rally whether it gets permission or not
Continuing his party’s campaign against hawkers around railway stations in Mumbai, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray has decided to hold a rally in Thane on Saturday.
Incidentally, MNS workers started its forcible eviction of hawkers on October 21 near Thane station, after the 15-day deadline that Thackeray had issued to authorities lapsed. On October 5,Thackeray had led an agitation and issued an ultimatum that either the Railways evict hawkers, or his party workers would do the deed.
The party has started spreading word about the rally, and claims it will hold the rally irrespective of whether it gets permission or not. “It will be a grand rally as there is a lot of enthusiasm to hear Rajsaheb,” said MNS secretary Sachin More.
MNS leaders have accused the state government of planning to disconnect electricity and cable TV networks so that people will not see a live telecast of Thackeray’s speech.
For the past three weeks, the party has been actively targeting hawkers near railway stations. The MNS is clearly hoping to make the most of Mumbaiites’ anger and frustration with the Railways, following the Elphinstone Road station stampede on September 29, which killed 23 commuters, and regain its popularity among people and its relevance in Maharashtra politics.
Political analysts, however, point out that just speeches and sporadic violence will not yield much dividend for the MNS. “Raj has offered no constructive programmes or agenda to citizens. He is just using street violence to promote himself,” said Surendra Jondhale, political commentator.
Source : hindustantimes.com