Justifying his intervention in defusing the stand-off over “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil”, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday said the issue could be resolved because the producers guild and MNS were on the same lines, expressing solidarity with the Indian Army. “I do not think that what (MNS chief) Raj Thackeray was demanding and what the producers guild voluntarily offered was something different. The producers guild had already said that they had wholehearted support for the our army men and wanted to do something for them,” Fadnavis said at ‘Manthan’, a programme organised by TV channel ‘Aaj Tak’.
Fadnavis had come under attack from Congress and NCP for ‘brokering’ a truce between the producers and MNS, with the opposition parties saying the state government’s role is to ensure rule of law and it was for the Centre to decide whether Pakistani artistes should be banned or not.
Under pressure from political and other outfits, Bollywood film producers have announced that they will not engage with Pakistani artistes, clearing decks for the smooth release of Karan Johar’s “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil” as MNS withdrew its threat to stall the screening.
Johar, accompanied by Producers’ Guild President Mukesh Bhatt, met the Maharashtra Chief Minister at his home ‘Varsha’ here this morning where Thackeray, whose party MNS has been opposing the release, was also present.
Asked why he gave so much importance to call and meet an outfit which forced producers to pay “hafta”, Fadnavis said, “These two stakeholders needed a mediation and that’s what I did and came out with an amicable solution.”
Fadnavis said it was alright if a solution was found through a dialogue otherwise state machinery would have dealt it with iron hand against those who took law in their hands, like in previous cases, it has done.
“There is something called law and order, through which we have dealt it with accordingly,” he said.
Earlier in the day, former Mumbai Police commissioner and BJP MP Satyapal Singh said the Chief Minister should not have called a political party to find the solution to such a problem.
“I think the CM could have dealt with this without inviting him (Raj Thackeray). He (Fadnavis) should have dealt this situation firmly,” said Singh.
In a bid to downplay Singh’s remark, Fadnavis said, “Satyapal ji has been police commissioner of Mumbai and as a police officer, this was his way to sort out the issues. While being a neta, it was my way to find an amicable solution.”