Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray has attacked industrialist Mukesh Ambani over his recent statement that Mumbai belongs to all Indians.
"Marathi people have as much right over Mumbai as Mukesh Ambani has over Reliance companies," Thackeray said in an article published in Sena mouthpiece Saamana.
"Mumbai is Maharashtra's capital and will remain its capital. Don't meddle in the path of Mumbai and Marathi manoos," he said.
Thackeray said, "when 'Pandit Mukesh Ambani' says Mumbai, Chennai and Delhi belong to all Indians, why has he left out cities likes Ahmedabad, Jamnagar and Rajkot".
Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani had recently said the controversy over making knowledge of Marathi mandatory for issuing taxi permits in Mumbai was 'unfortunate' and the metropolis belongs to all Indians. "We are all Indians first. Mumbai, Chennai and Delhi belong to all Indians. That is the reality," he had said during a panel discussion at the London School of Economics.
In November, the Sena chief had asked cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar not to "dabble" in politics. "He should stick to the cricket wicket and not meddle with the pitch of politics. The right to decide who comes to Mumbai is our right, not his," the Sena chief had said.
The Sena chief asserted that the Marathi manoos has the same right over Mumbai as enjoyed by Mukesh Ambani over the Reliance companies. "The only difference is that he has business rights and for Maharashtrians, it symbolises their pride," Thackeray said.
"Uptil now I considered Mukesh Ambani a true Mumbaikar. His father and my friend, the late Dhirubhai was loyal to Mumbai. The Ambanis could spread their industrial empire because of Mumbai and Maharashtra. Dhirubhai had always acknowledged his indebtedness to Maharashtra. Then why Mukesh has chosen a different path?" he asked.
The Sena patriarch also warned the industrialist to do his business without provoking Maharashtrians. He said, "of late many prominent personalities are vying with each other to proclaim that Mumbai belongs to all for their own selfish considerations and such utterances have become tantamount to advocating national integration. In doing so, nobody is showing sensitivity to the feelings of Maharashtrians to whom Mumbai belongs."
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