Nagpur: Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam said Mumbai will come to a standstill and its people will not even get food to eat if the north Indian community in the metropolis decides to stop working, drawing sharp reactions from the Shiv Sena and the Raj Thackeray-led MNS.
However, the community should not be forced to take such a step, the Mumbai Congress president warned, without naming any individual or political party.
He said the north Indian community had always expressed gratitude towards Mumbai and Maharashtra.
"It is the north Indian community which runs the lives of, or shoulders the burden of the people of Mumbai," Nirupam said at an event of north Indians here Sunday night.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Shatrughan Sinha also attended the event.
Nirupam said the members of the north Indian community were supplying milk, newspapers and vegetables to the people of the megapolis, besides providing autorickshaw and taxi services.
"If the community decides to stop work for a day, life in Mumbai will come to a standstill. None will get roti (bread), vegetables, milk and auto, taxi, truck and tempo (services).
"It happens sometimes, but it should not be done. (The community) should not be forced to take such a step," the former Member of Parliament added.
The Shiv Sena and the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) attacked Nirupam over his remarks.
The Shiv Sena stressed the city belonged to the 'Marathi Manoos' (sons of the soil), while the Raj Thackeray-led party challenged the Congress leader to bring the financial capital to a standstill.
Shiv Sena MP from Mumbai South-Central, Rahul Shewale said Nirupam was running out of issues and hence, the comments.
"The Congress cannot win even the gram panchayat polls. Hence, Mumbaikars will show Nirupam his place in the upcoming polls," Shewale added.
MNS spokesperson Sandeep Deshpande said on Twitter, "Challenging Congress's Bhaiyya (Nirupam) to bring Mumbai to a halt".
Meanwhile, a poster by an MNS worker surfaced on social media showing Nirupam as a "stray dog" and charging him with making controversial statements with an eye on votes of Hindi-speaking people.
Asked about the poster, Deshpande said it was not the party's official position.
The MNS, established over a decade ago to champion the cause of the sons of the soil, has in the past launched agitations against north Indians in Mumbai.
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Updated Date: Oct 09, 2018 08:47:29 IST