A day after the demolition drama unfolded at Pali Hill office of Kangana Ranaut, support poured in for the outspoken actor as the roaring Shiv Sena tiger seemed cornered in its own territory – Mumbai.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray tried to put up a brave front, but the growing clamour against a supposed “revengeful act” makes it look like the odds are stacked against the Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi in Maharashtra right now.
HC rap to BMC on demolition
After the Bombay High Court put a stay on Brihan Mumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) demolition drive at Kangana’s office on Wednesday, the court listened to both sides on Thursday and put the matter for next hearing on September 22. A division bench of Justices S J Kathawalla and R I Chagla observed that the BMC’s action “prima facie does not appear to be bonafide and smacks of malafide” intent.
Sharad Pawar speaks to Uddhav
Meanwhile, veteran politician and NCP supremo Sharad Pawar, who is a part of the Maha Vikas Aghadi in Maharashtra, met with Uddhav Thackeray and tried to calm him down. Sources say that Sharad Pawar very clearly told Uddhav that the Kangana controversy could have been handled better. Pawar is believed to have told the CM that it was wrong on his part to have accorded so much importance to the actor’s comments on twitter where she criticized the Mumbai police for their handling of the Sushant Singh Rajput death probe. Uddhav, however, was unrelenting as he told Pawar Senior that he was just responding to a systematic attempt by the BJP to use people like Kangana to destabilize his government.
As things stand now, Shiv Sena seems ready for a hard fight with Kangana, who too is unwilling to bow down. Sena’s hard stand was evident in the High Court as the BMC, which is ruled by the saffron party, labelled the actor’s allegations as “false, baseless and unwarranted”. On Thursday, the Mumbai police filed a fresh complaint against Kangana for allegedly using foul language against the chief minister of Maharashtra.
Union minister Athawale reaches out to Kangana
Meanwhile, Union minister Ramdas Athawale, whose party RPI (A) is a part of BJP-led NDA, met Kangana at her residence on Thursday. “RPI (A) workers have geared up to protect Ranaut in Mumbai. Our party workers will offer protection to her,” Athawale said in a statement.
“Shiv Sena spokesperson Sanjay Raut shouldn’t have threatened the actress over her right to live in Mumbai,” he added.
Earlier, Sena MLA Pratap Sarnaik had issued a threat after the actress dared anyone to stop her when she returns to Mumbai.
Tamil actor likens her to Bhagat Singh
Down South, Kangana found support in Tamil action star Vishal, who has compared the fiery actress to freedom fighter Bhagat Singh. Vishal wrote on twitter that the actor has set an example for people to “speak against the government” when something is not right.
“Hats off to your guts, you have never thought twice to voice out what is right and what is wrong. It wasn’t your personal issue, but even then facing the wrath of the government, you stayed strong which makes it a very big example. It is something similar to what Bhagat Singh did in the 1920s,” Vishal said in his post.
Meanwhile, Kangana visits her ‘demolished’ office
Kangana landed in Mumbai on Wednesday after spending months in her hometown Manali during the coronavirus pandemic. She visited her Pali Hill office on Thursday to assess the damage caused by BMC’s demolition squads. Kangana looked in a somber mood and was spotted without a mask. The actor later told media persons that she is being targeted because of her fight with the Shiv Sena.
Related news: Kangana ko ‘gussa kyon aata hai’?
The actress is locked in a war of words with Shiv Sena supremo and Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray over her comments on the ability of Mumbai Police to solve the death mystery of actor Sushant Singh Rajput. Sena MP Sanjay Raut reportedly asked Ranaut not to return to Mumbai for comparing the city to Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (Pok). The actress responded by daring anybody to stop her when she reaches here on September 9.