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Azmi faces threat to life, says Amar Singh

November 11, 2009 16:05 IST

Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh on Wednesday claimed there was a threat to the life of party Member of Legislative Assembly Abu Asim Azmi, who was assaulted by Maharashtra Navnirman Sena members in the Maharashtra assembly for taking oath in Hindi defying Raj Thackeray's diktat.

"An anonymous caller called on my mobile phone a short while ago saying that Abu Azmi won't be spared for his comments on Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray and that when he leaves for Vidhan Sabha in the morning, he will be taken care of," Singh told mediapersons at a hurriedly convened press conference early on Wednesday morning.

Singh had claimed on Tuesday that he received three anonymous calls in the last couple of days, threatening him with dire consequences, if he visited Mumbai.

In the aftermath of the incident and the resultant furore in political circles, Sena mouthpiece 'Saamna' had in its editorial accused Azmi of insulting Marathi by taking oath in Hindi.

"Azmi is a rich politician of Mumbai with property worth Rs 200 crore, which he has earned in Maharashtra. Why cannot he learn Marathi?" the editorial asked.

However, seeking to downplay the comments, Azmi has said that Thackeray had become old and "speaks like a child", triggering sharp reactions from the Sena as well as the MNS.

An inquiry has been ordered into the "behaviour" of Azmi in the Maharashtra assembly and its premises by the protem Speaker Ganpatrao Deshmukh, following repeated demands by opposition members, who alleged that Azmi had made provocative speeches and insulted Bal Thackeray.

"A detailed inquiry of the matter would be conducted by principal secretary of the House as demanded by the opposition parties and the report would be submitted to the speaker of the House," Deshmukh said.

Leader of the opposition Eknath Khadse had said that Azmi's misbehaviour in the House should be taken into consideration and action taken against him.

Deshmukh said the government would also probe the allegation by the opposition parties that Azmi was inciting people outside the House.

Chief Minister Ashok Chavan said the government would not condone behaviour that was unbecoming of any member and which would malign the image of the House, within and outside, and that action would be taken against that member.

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