Over an estimated 100,000 activists took part in a mega-procession taken out by the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena President Raj Thackeray, demanding the ouster of Pakistani-Bangladeshi infiltrators living in the country, in Mumbai on Sunday.
After starting from their Shivaji Park home, Thackeray and his family, including wife Sharmila, their son and MNS leader Amit Thackeray, first performed an 'aarti' and took 'darshan' of Lord Ganesha at the famed 220-year old Siddhivinayak Temple in Prabhadevi.
Mumbai: Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray offers prayers at Siddhivinayak Temple. pic.twitter.com/54qTxOm9TD— ANI (@ANI) February 9, 2020
Later, accompanied by the MNS top brass, the Thackerays led the procession from Girgaum Chowpatty as it wend its way to the historic Azad Maidan, around 4 kms away, where more enthusiastic crowds awaited Thackeray, who is expected to address a rally later.
Thousands of MNS activists from all over Maharashtra have been trooping to Mumbai since Saturday night to join the procession, by public or chartered buses, private vehicles, trains and even motorcycles.
The entire route from Girgaum Chowpatty to Azad Maidan resembled a sea of the MNS' new saffron-hued flag with the symbol of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj's Royal Seal.
Marching peacefully and in an orderly fashion, many raised slogans demanding that the illegal migrants living in the country should be driven away as they are a drain on the country's economy, resources and jobs, besides posing threats to national security.
However, Raj Thackeray has made it clear that the morcha is not in support of the CAA-NRC-NPR which have created massive socio-political upheavals around the country over two months.
This is the MNS' first public show of strength after it donned 'new avatar' on January 23, with a new flag, symbol, 'Hindutva' agenda and right-wing direction as it struggles for survival to create its own political space in Maharashtra, particularly after the recently changed state political scenario.