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Raj makes a point and how

In a massive show of strength more than 60,000 attend MNS rally at Azad Maidan

Ruma Bose / For The Goan | AUGUST 22, 2012, 08:10 AM IST
Raj makes a point and how

Through a massive show of strength witnessed both during themorcha from Girgaum Chowpatty to Azad Maidan and the subsequent rally, MNSchief Raj Thackeray on Tuesday not only sought to establish that he is a forceto reckon with in Mumbai, but he also scored political points over his party’srivals, including the Congress-NCP alliance and Shiv Sena-BJP saffron combine.Seven years after he came out of the fold of Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray –following years of bitterness with cousin and Shiv Sena Executive PresidentUddhav Thackeray – the nephew is making his present felt, not only in the Statebut also nationally.

By defying the diktats of the Mumbai administration andleading a massive morcha from Girgaum Chowpatty to Azad Maidan in south Mumbaito demand the resignations of Home Minister R R Patil and city policecommissioner Arup Patnaik, the MNS chief sought to send a message across toMumbaikars that he had the wherewithal to take on the city police and statepolice if it came to pushing his agenda. As a matter of fact, when Raj marched,policemen were seen smiling as they escorted him or carried out bandobastduties and several family members of cops joined the MNS morcha, one of thebiggest political rallies in recent times in this commercial capital of India.

While the city police had given permission to the MNS tohold a rally at the Azad Maidan, they had not permitted the Raj Thackeray-ledparty to organise such a huge morcha of party workers – numbering anywhere from25,000 to 30,000 people. At the end, to everybody's surprise around 60,000 plusattended the rally, as per claims of senior MNS leaders, but the MNS officebearer who took permission for the rally has started facing the music. Butafter the rally, the MNS has become more confident.

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