Mumbai: After Nitish Kumar`s statement
that nobody can stop him from visiting Mumbai to attend
Bihar`s centenary celebrations here rubbed Raj Thackeray-led
MNS the wrong way, the organisers on Thursday clarified the event
is purely socio-cultural and has no political overtones.
"It is purely a socio-cultural event which has no
political overtones. With due respect to all parties and
politicians in Maharashtra, I would like to say that no
political message is intended to be given through the event,"
former Bihar minister and convenor for the event Devesh
Chandra Thakur told reporters.
Asked for his comment on MNS`s reported opposition to
his visit to the metropolis, Kumar had said in Patna on Monday
that there was no ban on the visit and he could go anywhere.
"I don`t need a visa to go to Mumbai," he was reported to have
Though nobody from MNS has formally announced the
party`s opposition to Kumar`s visit to celebrate the centenary
year of Bihar`s creation, recent media reports said the party
will not allow the celebration on April 15.
"Mumbai is the capital of Maharashtra. If anybody
tries to show Maharashtra`s culture and Marathi language in a
bad light, it will not be tolerated," a top MNS leader had
said on condition of anonymity, adding Raj Thackeray would
make clear the party`s stand on the issue.
Thakur, who has had his education in Maharashtra, said
he personally had great respect for the Thackeray family.
"I have great regard for the Thackeray family for their
nationalist views. What they have at heart, they also have on
their tongue," he said.
Claiming that the event was "apolitical", Thakur said
it was evident as Kumar was visiting the state as chief
minister of Bihar and not as a leader his party JD(U).
"No politician or minister from Bihar is accompanying
him. There is a JD(U)-BJP coalition government in Bihar and
BJP is in alliance with Shiv Sena in Maharashtra. We could
have roped in BJP for the Bihar Divas celebrations here, but
we have not done that," Thakur, a JD(U) MLC, said, adding
"nobody should have any misgivings about the event."
Referring to opposition by some political parties to
migrant labourers from Hindi heartland coming to Mumbai to
earn a living and becoming a "drain" on the city`s resources,
Thakur said things were changing fast in Bihar and people
would soon not require to migrate to big cities for work.
"In a way, Nitish Kumar is doing what these parties
want. He is creating job opportunities in Bihar and time is
not far when people will not need to migrate to Mumbai and
other big cities to earn a living," he said.
Quoting Central government figures, Thakur said there
has been a 26 per cent drop in migrant labour outflow from the
state. "Now the traders and industrialists in Punjab are
luring Bihari labourers with freebies like mobile phones and
extra talktime to work for them."
Thakur said several organisations of Buddhists, Jains
and Sikhs the leaders of whose faiths like Lord Buddha,
Mahavira and Guru Gobind Singh had association with Bihar,
would felicitate Kumar at the function.
Kumar will also honour singers Udit Narayan and Manoj
Tiwari, besides Biharis from other walks of life including
social service, public administration and health who have done
the state proud.