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loudspeaker row: Ajit Pawar lashes out at Raj Thackeray’s ‘language of ultimatum’

Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Thursday hit out at MNS head Raj Thackeray over his call for the removal of loudspeakers on mosques and said nobody should speak the “language of ultimatum” with the government.

Talking to reporters here, Pawar said the Supreme Court’s decision on noise pollution is applicable to all places of worship in Maharashtra, and asserted that the state government runs as per law and the Constitution.

The senior NCP leader also said strict action will be taken if anyone tries to break the law. Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) president Thackeray had earlier given an ultimatum to the state government to remove loudspeakers from mosques by May 3. He had urged people to play Hanuman Chalisa on loudspeakers on Wednesday wherever they hear loudspeakers “blaring azaan (Islamic prayer call)”.

On Wednesday, Pawar, without naming the MNS leader, said, “Nobody should speak the language of ultimatum. This is not a dictatorship. If you want to give an ultimatum sitting inside your home to your family members, do it, we have nothing to do with it.” “But if someone is making such statements publicly, then remember, governments and the country run as per laws and the Constitution…Rules are the same for all,” he added.

Further targeting Thackeray, the deputy chief minister said it is easy to fan people’s sentiments, but when it comes to implementation of the SC order, then all religious places will have to follow the same. He urged all religious places in Maharashtra to take permission for using loudspeakers and play the same within the decibel levels prescribed by the Supreme Court.

Pawar said nobody should fall prey to pressure or sentimental appeal, and people should ensure proper law and order and communal harmony in the state.“Strict action will be taken if permission is not taken for using loudspeakers…everything will take place as per law. Nobody should dare to take law into his/her hands. The law will do its job,” he added