Actor Kangana Ranaut’s statement comparing Mumbai to Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) drew her the ire of Maha Vikas Aghadi leaders, including Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, who advised her not to live in Mumbai if she feels unsafe in the city. While the BJP has backed the actor, the party’s state unit distanced itself from her statement.
“Sanjay Raut Shiv Sena leader has given me an open threat and asked me not to come back to Mumbai, after Aazadi graffitis in Mumbai streets and now open threats, why Mumbai is feeling like Pakistan occupied Kashmir?,” Ranaut tweeted on September 3. The actor also tweeted she did not trust Mumbai Police and felt unsafe.
Ranaut had been in news for her controversial statements on the Mumbai Police’s handling of the Sushant Singh Rajput death case. She had also said that many A-listers in Bollywood consume illegal drugs.
Deshmukh said Friday those who did not feel that the city was safe for them had no right to live Mumbai or in Maharashtra. “It is ridiculous for an actor to make such a statement. Mumbai and the entire Maharashtra is safe in the hands of the police. And those who feel Mumbai or Maharashtra is not safe for them, they have no right to live in Mumbai or Maharashtra,” Deshmukh told mediapersons.
Raut, who was accused by Ranaut of intimidation, said the home ministry needed to take action against all those who were defaming the state. He also hit out at the BJP. “Any political party that is backing someone calling Mumbai PoK does not have any right to seek votes in Mumbai and Maharashtra,” Raut said.
The Sena leadership attacked Ranaut stating she was part of a larger plan to disturb the harmony in the state. The women’s wing of Sena protested against the actor’s remarks in Dadar and other parts of Mumbai, Thane and Nashik.
“It has been more than 15 days that the CBI had taken over the investigation (into Sushant’s death) but Ranaut has neither sought any protection from CBI nor handed over information to it. She is putting out tweets only to disturb the atmosphere,” Sena leader and Transport Minister Anil Parab said.
He underlined the state government has signed MoUs worth Rs 16,000 crore during the lockdown. “It means investors want to set up industries in the state. Is there a conspiracy to discourage them from coming to Maharashtra by vitiating the atmosphere in Mumbai and the state? Mumbai’s financial service centre and other offices have been shifted to Gujarat. By creating such an atmosphere, is a conspiracy being hatched to shift Mumbai’s Bollywood to somewhere else?” he asked.
Congress leader and Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat condemned Ranaut’s remarks saying people will never forgive those insulting the “Mumbai Police, Marathi manoos and Maharashtra”.
The state BJP chose to distance itself from her comments. “She should not try to teach Mumbai, Maharashtra and its people how to behave. We do not support her statement,” said party leader Ashish Shelar.
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