Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut on Sunday (September 13) said it was unfortunate that the BJP is backing Kangana Ranaut despite the actress likening Mumbai to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, and added this was done with an eye on Bihar polls.
In his weekly column Rokhthok in Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’, Raut also claimed there is a systematic effort to reduce the importance of Mumbai, and constantly defaming the city is part of that conspiracy.
“This is a difficult period when all Marathi people in Maharashtra should unite,” Raut said.
By supporting Ranaut and through its stand in the Sushant Singh Rajput case, the BJP wants to win Bihar polls with the upper caste Rajput and Kshatriya votes, he said.
“While doing this, it doesn’t matter if Maharashtra is insulted. Not one Maharashtra (BJP) leader was sad over the manner in which the state has been humiliated,” Raut said.
“An actress humiliates the chief minister and people of the state shouldn’t react, what kind of one-sided freedom is this?” asked Raut, who is the executive editor of Saamana.
“When her illegal construction in the city, which she calls as Pakistan, is demolished, she calls the demolished structure a Ram mandir. You are crying hoarse when there is a surgical strike on the illegal construction. What kind of a game is this?” he asked.
Responding to the demolition, BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis had said the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maharashtra government should focus on fighting coronavirus instead of Kangana Ranaut.
The Uddhav Thackeray-led government and Kangana Ranaut have been engaged in a battle of words over the last few days after the latter referred to Mumbai as Pakistan Occupied Kashmir.
The actor had also said she feared Mumbai Police more than the “movie mafia” after the death of Sushant Singh Rajput.
The debate began from there, with Sanjay Raut reacting strongly to her comment by saying, “We kindly request her not to come to Mumbai. This is nothing but an insult to Mumbai Police.”
Soon after, Ranaut’s office was also partially demolished in her absence by the BMC over “illegal” construction, which caused the actor to lash out and issue a series of tweets, including warnings to the Maharashtra government and chief minister Uddhav Thackeray.
(With inputs from agencies)