Row over decision on auto permits

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The Maharashtra Government’s decision to issue autorickshaw permits to only those who can speak Marathi languagen has triggered a controversy. Criticising the Marathi string attached to decision, Congress and NCP leaders said BJP and Shiv Sena were once again raking up ‘Marathi Manoos’ issue in view of coming Mumbai civic elections. Congress has called the decision ‘anti-constitutional and ‘illegal.’ “No one can be denied livelihood on the basis of one’s language, says our constitution. There are non-Marathis too who travel in autos. Should we ask the driver to learn their language as well?” asked Sanjay Nirupam, party’s Mumbai unit president. NCP leader Sachin Ahir said the decision makes it seem that those running the government are “extremists”. “They are simply raking up Marathi manoos issue ahead of Mumbai civic body elections. When I was Transport Minister, we only expected people to know various languages, including Marathi, but never imposed rules on them. It seems this government is being run by extremists,” he said.

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