Amid MNS-BJP alliance buzz, Mumbai businessmen tells Raj Thackeray’s party to reconsider stand on non-Marathis


“Raj Thackeray and his party, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), will have to change its stand on non-Marathis and businessmen or else people will not support the alliance and businesses will migrate,” this is what Mumbai-based businessmen said about a possible tie-up between the MNS and the BJP for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

For the past few years, the MNS has been against non-Marathis working in Mumbai and Maharashtra and also against the business community.

But with Raj Thackeray meeting Union Home Minister Amit Shah in Delhi and Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and his deputy Devendra Fadnavis in Mumbai, there is a strong buzz that the MNS is set to ally with the BJP.

Sources told India Today TV that MNS has demanded two seats but is likely to get the Mumbai South Lok Sabha seat.

Notably, South Mumbai is considered to be the business hub of India as many people from Gujarat, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and South India have set up their businesses in Mumbai and Maharashtra for several decades. But, the MNS has consistently opposed non-Marathis’ stay in the state.

In a recent action against non-Marathis, MNS workers on Friday tore down the boards of the shops of Rajasthani mobile traders in Nashik. Defending its action, MNS alleged that Rajasthani traders were doing injustice to their Marathi counterparts.

But now with the MNS cosying up to the BJP with a possible pre-poll alliance, India Today spoke to several businessmen from South Mumbai.

Narendra Poddar, president of Bharat Merchant Chambers, Mumbai and a resident of South Mumbai said, “Under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the NDA is fighting elections and they have always supported business. However, what the MNS did in Nashik is not good and we take our stand against their actions.”

“If the MNS is allying with the BJP, the BJP has to make sure that its past record should not be repeated. A business-friendly candidate should be given the ticket. South Mumbai is the hub for business in India. People from all over the country and community come here and does business. They should not be harassed,” he added.

Another businessman, Rajiv Singal, said non-Marathis pay taxes and contribute to the country’s development, including Mumbai’s. He warned that if the MNS did not change its stance, people will migrate from Mumbai.

“Today, we can do business in Kashmir after the scrapping of Article 370. We should not have any problems after the alliance between the MNS and the BJP is done. If the MNS still does not change its stand against non-Marathis, businesses will suffer and people will leave Mumbai and Maharashtra,” Singal said.

Voicing similar sentiments, Navin Bagidia, another businessman, said, “The candidate should understand the importance of business in South Mumbai. The party should not oppose outsiders working here. Non-Marathis or outsiders working here are working for the development of the country and pay taxes as well.”

Maharashtra, which has 48 Lok Sabha seats, will vote in five phases from April 19, April 26, May 7, May 13 and May 20. Votes will be counted on June 4.

Published By:

Prateek Chakraborty

Published On:

Mar 24, 2024



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