Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray has written to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, stating that "nobody in politics stays in politics forever" as he criticised the state government for the crackdown on his party workers over the loudspeaker controversy, ANI reported on Tuesday, 10 May.
"Nobody in politics stays in power forever. Power comes & power goes. With you too, it will not remain forever," he reportedly said.
"The manner in which the Maharashtra government is detaining MNS workers through state police force, did the government and police run an arrest drive like that to catch hold of weapons and terrorists hidden in mosques?" he questioned.
Thackeray's comments come amid the ongoing loudspeaker row in the state.
On 12 April, during his Gudi Padwa speech in Thane, Raj Thackeray said that loudspeakers needed to be removed from mosques. Later, while addressing a rally in Aurangabad on 1 May, he gave an ultimatum to the Uddhav Thackeray-led government to remove loudspeakers from mosques by 4 May. He said he did not want to stoke riots in Maharashtra but warned that Hanuman Chalisa would be played in front of such mosques.
Meanwhile, over 250 Maharashtra Navnirman Sena workers were detained for playing Hanuman Chalisa on loudspeakers on 4 May, the Maharashtra police said.
Reacting to the same, Thackeray had earlier said that the agitation against "illegal loudspeakers" at mosques and temples would continue and warned that it was "not a one-day affair".
"This issue is not just about loudspeakers on mosques, but temples too have them. They should also be removed."
"We will continue the agitation till all illegal loudspeakers are removed. The Supreme Court order is not to be followed selectively. If the permitted decibel levels are breached by mosques, we will play Hanuman Chalisa louder," he said.
A case was also registered against Raj Thackeray on Tuesday, 3 May, over his provocative remarks. The political leader later issued a renewed 'appeal to Hindus' to play Hanuman Chalisa near mosques where loudspeakers are being used.
On Monday, 2 May, Thackeray appealed to party workers to abandon the MNS' plan of performing 'maha aartis' on Eid.
"It's Eid tomorrow. I have said several things in the Sambhajinagar rally yesterday about it. The Muslim community should be able to celebrate this festival with joy. As was decided before, let's not perform aartis anywhere on Akshaya Tritiya," Thackeray said in a tweet in Marathi.
(With inputs from ANI.)