September 12, 2008 2:54:59 am
MNS chief withdraws agitation, but asks state govt to take serious note of senior police officer’s comment that ‘Mumbai does not belong to anyone’s father’
A day after actor Amitabh Bachchan said that he was apologising if his wife Jaya’s (allegedly anti-Marathi) remarks had hurt even a single person’s sentiments, Maharashtra Navanirman Sena (MNS) president Raj Thackeray today withdrew his agitation and the ban on movies starring Bachchan family members. However, he launched a new attack — this time on Joint Commissioner of Police K L Prasad for a statement he had made to the media on Wednesday.
Dubbing Prasad the “Jaya Bachchan of the police,” Thackeray criticised him for his remark that “Mumbai does not belong to anyone’s father” and asked the State government to take serious note of his statement. He also challenged him to take a public survey on the issue within the police force.
Thackeray alleged that Prasad had previously made public statements about “breaking the limbs” of MNS cadre during an earlier “anti-outsider” agitation launched by the party. “If he has an ego of his badge, uniform, and position, he should leave it aside and come down to the streets. Then he will know whose father Mumbai belongs to. An IPS officer should not get involved (in these issues). The State government must take a serious note. A responsible officer entrusted with maintaining law and order is himself breaking the law,” Thackeray pointed out.
Despite repeated attempts, Prasad remained unavailable for comment.
“Everyone would have come to know what happens when the Marathi people come together,” said Raj, adding that though Jaya had apologised in an interview to a newspaper, the party had been firm on the stance that nothing short of a public apology would suffice.
“Though it was essential for Jaya Bachchan to apologise for her remarks, we have accepted Amitabh Bachchan’s gesture to issue the apology after holding a press conference as head of the family. This is a victory of the Maharashtrians,” Raj added and called on his cadre and associates to maintain peace.
Alleging that Jaya Bachchan had spoken in Parliament on the issue of making Mumbai a separate state, Thackeray advised her to “stick to written dialogues and not say anything that comes to her mind”.
He also reiterated the statement he had made in a speech at a party function at Vikhroli earlier this year — in which he had said that personalities like Amitabh Bachchan, Lata Mangeshkar and Sachin Tendulkar are not bound by territorial boundaries.
“The people of the country see, watch and hear them. Amitabh Bachchan should not be hemmed in boundaries of territory. Keeping personal relations with anyone is his personal question,” he had added, noting that Bachchan had acted as brand ambassador for the Uttar Pradesh government.
Thackeray also clarified that the Mumbai police, which had earlier served a gag order on him, had given him permission to address the press conference after he spoke to Commissioner of Police Hasan Gafoor on Wednesday.
Referring to Amitabh Bachchan’s blog apology, he opined that it did not have the public outreach of a newspaper or news channel. However, the matter had been cleared after Bachchan’s press conference apology, concluded Thackeray.
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