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Azmi wants Raj Thackeray arrested for Assembly attack

Last Updated: Tuesday, November 10, 2009 - 12:42

Mumbai: Samajwadi Party leader Abu Asim Azmi, who was on Monday attacked by Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) legislators in the Assembly, on Tuesday reiterated that Raj Thackeray should be arrested for the assault.

Azmi said he was not satisfied with the suspension of the four MNS legislators who attacked him in the Assembly for taking his oath in Hindi instead of Marathi.

He pointed out that since MNS chief Raj Thackeray had "instigated and inspired" the attacks, he should be held responsible for the actions of his party legislators and be arrested immediately.

The Samajwadi Party leader said several experts had told him that the suspension of the legislators for four years could be revoked if the MNS tenders an apology.

"The shocking thing is that if a duly elected legislator can be openly attacked inside the legislature, then what safety can the government assure the common masses of Maharashtra?" Azmi, the leader of the three-member Samajwadi Party group in the Assembly, said today.

As Azmi started speaking in Hindi Monday in defiance of MNS supremo Raj Thackeray`s appeal to legislators to take oath only in Marathi, a group of first-timer MNS legislators pounced on him.

MNS member Ramesh Banjle first uprooted the microphone and threw it away. Others from MNS surrounded Azmi, pushing and punching him. MNS legislator Ram Kadam slapped Azmi and hit him on the chest and shoulders.

Even as all political parties condemned the attack, the House unanimously approved the suspension of the four legislators for four years and banned their entry into Mumbai and Nagpur whenever the sessions are held in these cities.

Besides Kadam, the others suspended are Shishir Shinde, Vasant Gite and Ramesh Banjle.

But Azmi dismissed speculation that Monday`s incidents could lead to a re-alignment of political forces in the state.

"My party remains with the Third Front and there is no truth in speculation that we may join the government," he said.


First Published: Tuesday, November 10, 2009 - 12:42

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