New Delhi: The Shiv Sena, which is engaged in a war of words with actor Kangana Ranaut, has lashed out at its former ally-turned-rival Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for supporting the actor, and said it looked like the latter was conspiring to ultimately separate Mumbai from Maharashtra.
An editorial in party mouthpiece Saamana criticised the Narendra Modi government for providing Ranaut with Y+ security cover though she allegedly disrespected Mumbai.
In a tweet on 3 September, Ranaut had compared Mumbai to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, tagging a news report where Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut had purportedly said she should not come back to Mumbai if she was afraid of the city police.
“There is always a danger to Mumbai because those who support disrespect to ‘Mumbadevi’ are sitting in Delhi and in Maharashtra’s assembly,” the Shiv Sena said in the Saamana editorial.
“First defame Mumbai, then weaken it. Make Mumbai completely bankrupt and then one day separate it from Maharashtra. It is clearly seen that these steps are being taken again.”
‘Will never stand any disrespect to PM Modi’
In the Saamana editorial, the Shiv Sena also noted that even though the party may have gone in a different direction, it would never stand any disrespect to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and similarly, chief ministers of states should also be respected.
“The Shiv Sena may have gone in a different direction, but as prime minister, the party will never stand any disrespect to PM Narendra Modi. Modi today is not just an individual, but an institution as the PM. The same can be said for the CMs and the self-respect of different states,” it said.
The party added that the entire state should unite against anyone insulting Mumbai, and challenging Maharashtra’s chief minister.
“Maharashtra is angry, but the BJP is backing those who are disrespecting Mumbai and Maharashtra’s CM,” the editorial said.
Ranaut controversy now a Sena-BJP row
The entire controversy began after Ranaut claimed last month that there was a drug mafia in Bollywood. Talking about the investigation in actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death, she had also said she “feared Mumbai Police more than the movie mafia”.
Following this, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut had hit back at Ranaut and asked her not to return to Mumbai if she felt that way.
Since then, the actor has drawn a parallel between Mumbai and PoK, which escalated the war of words between Ranaut and the Shiv Sena.
The recent editorial in Saamana comes two days after the home ministry granted Ranaut Y+ category security. She also thanked Home Minister Amit Shah for respecting “a daughter of India” in a tweet Monday.
ये प्रमाण है की अब किसी देशभक्त आवाज़ को कोई फ़ासीवादी नहीं कुचल सकेगा,मैं @AmitShah जी की आभारी हूँ वो चाहते तो हालातों के चलते मुझे कुछ दिन बाद मुंबई जाने की सलाह देते मगर उन्होंने भारत की एक बेटी के वचनों का मान रखा, हमारे स्वाभिमान और आत्मसम्मान की लाज रखी, जय हिंद 🙏 https://t.co/VSbZMG66LT
— Kangana Ranaut (@KanganaTeam) September 7, 2020
The actor is scheduled to return to Mumbai Wednesday, and several Shiv Sena leaders have registered strong protests saying they will not let her return to the city.
The controversy has also turned into a Sena-BJP slugfest, with the former alleging political motives to Ranaut’s statements, especially after the central government gave her the security cover.
However, BJP leaders have said they do not support the actor’s statements about Mumbai.
Meanwhile, the Shiv Sena also moved a breach of privilege motion against Ranaut and Republic TV’s Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami in the state’s legislative assembly session Tuesday.