While the Bombay High Court order restrained the demolition of part of the office of the actress in Mumbai, Maharashtra’s governor chided the ‘inept handling’ of the case by the chief minister
Ashok Kumar | Clarion India
MUMBAI – The war of words between Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut and the Shiv Sena escalated on Thursday with both sides raising the shrillness of their accusations and drawing in a host of other celebrities and personalities.
While the Bombay High Court ordered status quo on the demolition of the Ranaut’s office in Pali Hill in Mumbai, Maharashtra’s governor summoned the principal advisor to the chief minister to express his displeasure over the “inept handling of the Kangana Ranaut episode” by the government. Shiv Sena supporters also filed a police complaint against the actress for her remarks against the chief minister.
The high court adjourned the hearing into the demolition of Ranaut’s office till September 22 after her lawyer sought time to respond to the affidavit filed by the Mumbai municipal corporation. The court had on Wednesday stayed the demolition of some unauthorised structure in her office, which the civic body had undertaken.
Maharashtra governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari told Ajoy Mehta, the chief minister’s principal advisor that he condemned the civic body’s actions on the office of the actress. He said he would brief the central government about the action.
Interestingly, the Kangana Ranaut row has brought about a strange combination of political sides. While the Shiv Sena appears to be battling it alone, its allies in the state government, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Congress both seem to have backed out of the action. Sharad Pawar, the NCP chief, remarked that illegal construction wasn’t something new in Mumbai. Considering the “prevalent situation,” he said, “the BMC’s actions give space to raise doubt in people’s minds. However, BMC has its own rules and officers may have found it appropriate to take the action.”
The Congress high command also directed its leaders in Maharashtra not to speak on the Kangana-Shiv Sena controversy. And the BJP of course, has been backing the actress to the hilt, criticising the Sena-dominated BMC for demolishing her office.
Senior Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut said that the party had no role to play in the demolition of parts of Kangana’s office in the Mumbai suburb. But Raut maintained that “11 crore Marathi people” had heard her comments, slamming the Shiv Sena-led government in Maharashtra and for her allegedly insulting and defamatory statements against Uddhav Thackeray, the Shiv Sena chief and the state’s chief minister. Party supporters have filed a case against the actress at the Vikhroli police station for making defamatory statements.
Surprisingly, the Shiv Sena has found backing from Imtiaz Jaleel, the AIMIM MP from Aurangabad, who has slammed Kangana for showing disrespect to Thackeray.
The actress has got the support of BJP leader and former Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, who described the move to demolish her office as an attempt by the Shiv Sena “to suppress voices.” The chief minister of Himachal Pradesh, Jairam Thakur also tweeted his support to the “daughter of Himachal Pradesh”.
Kangana also lashed out at Uddhav Thackeray, accusing his party of being ‘Sonia Sena.’ “The ideology on which Shri Balasaheb Thackeray had built Shiv Sena, today they have sold that ideology for power and have become Sonia Sena from Shiv Sena. Don’t call the goons who broke my house in my absence a civic body. Don’t insult the Constitution in this manner,” she tweeted.
The ongoing battle – or as some would say a typical Bollywood tamasha – between the actress and the Shiv Sena is likely to escalate over the coming days, drawing in other political and Bollywood celebrities, hooting and tweeting their way and backing their respective patrons.