"Those who are insulting Maharashtra, should remember that Maharashtra is because of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and Balasaheb Thackeray"
Mumbai: The Shiv Sena on Saturday appeared to have softened its stand on the controversy involving Kangana Ranaut, who had likened Mumbai to PoK (Pakistan occupied Kashmir). Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut said he does not have any personal issue with the actress and added that he raised his voice because she spoke against Maharashtra. Meanwhile, RPI chief and Union minister for state Ramdas Athawale said his party would take care of Ranaut’s security in Mumbai.
Raut said that those who are insulting Maharashtra, should remember that Maharashtra is because of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and Shiv Sena founder Balasaheb Thackeray. “I don’t have any personal issue with Kangana Ranaut. But insulting Mumbai and Maharashtra will not be tolerated,” the Shiv Sena leader said, adding that linking Mumbai with PoK is a very serious offence.
The Sena leader said that he read few statements of the BJP leaders. Ashish Shelar has asked Kangana Ranaut to not teach Mumbai, Maharashtra and its people how to behave. Mr Shelar should speak more aggressively on this issue. Maharashtra belongs to them (BJP) also, said Mr Raut. “They (BJP) are also active in Maharashtra’s politics. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj does not belong to an individual. Maharaj belongs to the entire state and the country. The issue is not limited to Shiv Sena only, it also involves 11 crore people of the state,” he added.
The Shiv Sena and Congress have been alleging that BJP IT cell is behind Ranaut’s tweets. Mr Raut said, “One needs to use their Twitter handle themselves instead of allowing the IT cell of a political party to do so.”
Meanwhile, defending Kangana, the RPI chief said every citizen has the right to express their views in democracy. She did not criticize Mumbai but the government. Kangana Ranaut has the right to live in Mumbai as per the rights provided by the Constitution of India. If anybody protests against her, RPI would provide her security in Mumbai, said Mr Athawale.