Maharashtra CM Vilasrao Deshmukh puts up a brave face as he tries to defend some of his recent Sena-like decisions. Excerpts from an interview:
You seem to have a Sena-BJP complex...
No, I am very much a Congressman and Congress chief minister. If I talk in favour of Maharashtra, is it a crime? I am talking about real issues.
But isn't it Thackeray-speak?
I don't have to borrow my ideology or ideas from him or others. Many things were taken out of context. I'm concerned that Maharashtrians form only 27 per cent of the direct recruitment into the union civil services. That's why I spoke of non-Maharashtrians.
Are 'outsiders' unwelcome under the Congress too?
Anyone can come but no new slum can be created here. It's Maharashtrian culture to welcome all guests but Mumbai has no room now. And, by guests I mean everyone—even those from my hometown Latur and other places in Maharashtra.
Why this interest in Bangladeshis?
It was one of the points I raised at a national conference on internal security but not the...