Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray has accused the Congress of 'using' Mumbai to mint money at the cost of Maharashtrians and warned its leaders against deriving political mileage by encouraging the influx of North Indians into the metropolis.
Lambasting Congress leader and former state minister Kripashankar Singh for his reported statement that the clean sweep made by Congress in Mumbai in the just concluded Lok Sabha elections was a 'revenge' taken by North Indians, Thackeray in an editorial in party mouthpiece Saamana said those who seek to snap Mumbai's umbilical cord with Maharashtrians "would be dealt with severely by the Shiv Sena".
Quoting Congress Member of Parliament Sanjay Nirupam that the party's victory in Mumbai was the outcome of North Indians' support and now nobody can prevent their entry into the city, Thackeray said the Congress triumph was a result of the division of Marathi votes caused by treacherous elements and not an achievement of the party.
"Who is this Kripashankar and Sanjay Nirupam? We are issuing a warning that those who try to provoke the Marathi manoos are digging their own grave," the editorial said.
"Knowing Mumbai's utility, the Congress is trying to usurp it by treating it like a tempting whore to earn money and meting out a raw deal for Maharashtrians," the Sena supremo alleged.
Recalling the historical instance in which warrior King Shivaji killed Moghul knight Afzal Khan, the editorial said, "The sword wielded by the Marathi man is not to shave off the beard of Kripa Shankar. It will be used by Shiv Sena to cut the heads of the enemies of Mumbai and Maharashtra. Mumbai is the capital of Maharashtra and Marathi people had to fight the Congress rule in Delhi to achieve the statehood."
Thackeray also criticised Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who had stated that Mumbai belonged to all, during her election campaign. "Who has given Sonia the right to talk on Mumbai," Thackeray said, adding that she herself is an 'alien' in this country.