Mumbai: Claiming that he himself had not made any provocative speech in 2000, Samajwadi Party leader Abu Asim Azmi on Wednesday alleged that Union Minister Sharad Pawar was shielding Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray.
"He (Pawar) is now old, and should go and take a dip (in Ganga) at Benaras to wash off his sins. He is protecting Raj Thackeray. I dare Pawar to send the MNS president handcuffed to Bihar and Uttar Pradesh as he had been summoned by the courts there for making provocative speeches," Azmi said, speaking at a rally here.
The Samajwadi Party leader was recently convicted for a provocative speech made in 2000.
"Raj Thackeray has made provocative speeches against north Indians thousands of times, but he is not charged," Azmi said.
In a memorandum sent to the Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, Azmi said that "your government`s Home Department has received many applications to issue sanction for prosecuting Raj Thackeray, Bal Thackeray, Salman Rushdie, Taslima Nasreen, Praveen Togadia, etc, for creating communal disharmony, yet, the Home Ministry has not given any sanction (for the same in the case of Raj)."