Ahead of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray's rally in Aurangabad, Home Minister Dilip Walse Patil said that Maharashtra Police was on alert. "Permission for the rally has been given with certain terms and conditions, and we expect those conditions to be followed. I want to appeal to Hindu and Muslim communities to maintain peace," Patil said.
The state has been witnessing a political slugfest between the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) coalition of the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress, and the opposition BJP. Recently, Raj Thackeray sought to corner the Shiv Sena, which swears by Hindutva, by demanding that loudspeakers on mosques be removed.
The people of Maharashtra are capable of giving a befitting reply if anyone is hatching a conspiracy to hurt the pride of Maharashtra and defame it, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said in the statement.
"Maharashtra will continue to march ahead no matter how many crises it faces, and people will never forget the sacrifices of those who shed their blood for the cause of 'Samyukta (united) Maharashtra'," he said. The state remained in the forefront in areas like agriculture, industries and investment even during the COVID-19 pandemic, Thackeray said.
He also lavished praise on the administration for discharging duty with courage during the pandemic and other natural calamities the state faced in the past two-and-half years, and also for foiling attempts to defame and discourage the state. He also hailed Maharashtra's icons Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, Mahatma Jyotiba Phule, Savitribai Phule, Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj and Babasaheb Ambedkar and others.