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Feb 14, 2008, 06.03 PM IST | Source: CNBC-TV18

Shiv Sena will up their ante now: IBN Lokmat

Speaking to CNBC-TV18, Nikhil Wagle, Editor-in-Chief, IBN Lokmat, said the Shiv Sena might stir up some trouble to compete with Raj Thackeray as he has put the Sena on the back foot. "Raj Thackeray has stolen the show from Uddhav Thackeray. I think Bal Thackeray will be worried and he will create some trouble."

Shiv Sena will up their ante now: IBN Lokmat
Nikhil Wagle , Editor-in-Chief, IBN Lokmat , said the Mumbai police should have acted against Raj Thackeray and Abu Azmi earlier. "Had they acted, there would have been no violence. I think the police reacted a little late."

He feels the Shiv Sena might stir up some trouble to compete with Raj Thackeray as he has put the Sena on the back foot. "Raj Thackeray has stolen the show from Uddhav Thackeray. I think Bal Thackeray will be worried and he will create some trouble. He might give some provocative statements. So, the police have to be observant otherwise it will be a fight between the two brothers and Maharashtra and Mumbai will suffer."

Excerpts from CNBC-TV18’s exclusive interview with Nikhil Wagle:

Q: Do you see calm and peace all over Maharashtra starting tomorrow because the MNS leader is out on bail?

A: If police take proper precaution it will be calm and quiet.

Q: You are not expecting any trouble now?

A: Not in Mumbai at least. Nashik is a stronghold of Raj Thackeray and police should have taken precaution in that state. Raj Thackeray’s supporters burned one bus in Manmad, Nashik. The precautions that were taken in Mumbai should have been replicated in Nashik and entire rural Maharashtra. I hope Raj Thackeray will appeal to his followers to calm down for his betterment only.

Q: Are you saying that Mumbai will be clam going forward? Your eyes are on the rest of Maharashtra, especially Nashik.

A: Yes.

Q: The Shiv Sena now seems to be on back foot because Raj Thackeray and MNS have portrayed, "I am the representative and true spokesperson of the Marathi Manoos". Do you anticipate that the Shiv Sena and people from that party will now try to stir-up trouble to seize the initiative back?

A: I totally agree with you. I expect Shiv Sena to create some trouble to compete with Raj Thackeray because now Raj has put the Shiv Sena on back foot. He has stolen the show from Uddhav Thackeray. I think Bal Thackeray will be worried and he will create some trouble. He might give some provocative statements. So, the police have to be observant otherwise it will be a fight between the two brothers and Maharashtra and Mumbai will suffer.

Q: Do you see this event as being entirely stage-managed? This went exactly according to the script as defined by Raj Thackeray, wasn’t it?

A: Right from last week, I have been saying that this is a secret alliance between Raj Thackeray and the Congress-NCP government. Congress and NCP politicians are using Raj Thackeray to cut into Shiv Sena’s vote bank. So, this entire drama was stage-managed. For instance, today at 4 pm he was arrested, was produced in court, and at 6:30 pm he gets bail.

Q: In those images of him coming out of the court, he waved and it almost looked like it was an election rally that he was addressing?

A: It was just history repeating itself. 40 years ago Bal Thackeray was created by the then Chief Minister VP Naik. Now the Congress-NCP government is creating another Bal Thackeray. He will turn into another trouble for them.

Q: Evaluate the administrations handling of the situation.

A: Today, the police force in the city was vigilant. But when Raj Thackeray and Abu Azmi made their provocative statement about 10 days ago the police should have acted. Had they acted, there would have been no violence. The police reacted a little late. The situation in Mumbai was okay today but was not so in the rest of Maharashtra.

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