August 30, 2008

Now, MNS Trains Guns on Cable Operators

By Sanjeev Shivadekar

MUMBAI: Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) leader Raj Thackeray seems to have found a new issue to further his Marathi agenda.

The MNS leader has now directed cable operators in the state to prominently telecast Marathi news channels and shows, especially 'Saam', a newly launched Marathi news channel owned by Sharad Pawar's nephew Abhijeet Pawar.

Raj told TOI that he has given cable operators two days' time to change their approach towards Marathi. "If they fail to do so, our party will deal them in the style we are known for," he threatened. "Even if the offender happens to be a Marathi, he will not be spared by our party." he added.

Interestingly, the threat comes a day after the MNS chief met managing director of Sakaal group, Abhijeet, on Tuesday. The six- hour-long marathon meeting was held at Raj Thackeray's residence in Dadar.

Like the meeting between Bal Thackeray and Sharad Pawar sometime ago, this meeting too raised speculation in political circles.

When contacted, Abhijeet Pawar said it was a personal meeting and would not like to reveal anything to media. However, Raj Thackeray said, "The channel is owned by a Marathi-speaking family and I will extend all my support to a Marathi entrepreneur who has abilities similar to media baron Rupert Murdoch."

One of the prominent cable operators in the city, Ganesh Naidu was not available for comment.

Meanwhile, chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh has directed police officials to take stern action against people vandalising shops for not having put up Marathi signboards.

"It is Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporations's job to ensure that the rules (on signboards) are followed. No party has been entrusted with the responsibility of enforcing the law. Those not following the rules as well as those running riot will be dealt with strictly," he said.

(c) 2008 The Times of India. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.