Raj stir runs out of steam; to meet CM

Mumbai :  MNS chief Raj Thackeray was on Wednesday detained before being released during his party’s uncharacteristically peaceful ‘Rasta Roko’ agitation against toll collection across Maharashtra. The only concession he has secured from the Chief Minister is that the State Government could consider setting up a toll plaza regulatory authority.

Raj stir runs out of steam; to meet CM

Known for his strong-arm tactics, the MNS boss has yielded for the moment and is slated to meet Prithviraj Chavan on Thursday. The highlight of the day was Raj’s detention at Chembur while he was proceeding to the Vashi toll plaza to enforce the road blockade. But minutes after he was detained, Chavan got in touch with him on the phone. Thereafter, he was let off and the agitation, too, fizzled out.

In a complete departure from its earlier strategy, which saw scores of toll plazas being vandalised and burnt down across the state over the last fortnight, MNS workers on Wednesday took to streets but largely shunned violence.

Unspecified number of MNS workers and supporters were detained in city’s suburbs, Pune and Thane but the protesters did not go beyond disrupting traffic, burning and deflating tyres.

In neighbouring Thane district, the anti-toll agitation launched by MNS disrupted traffic to a large extent in several localities with roads being blocked and vehicular movement coming to a halt. The Chief Minister has already indicated that scrapping the toll is impractical. It is a vital ingredient for sustaining the road network.

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