No need to worry in Mumbai, Union Minister Ramdas Athawale tells Kangana Ranaut

Athawale, a BJP ally, made it clear he does not agree with the remarks made by Ranaut, who had likened Mumbai to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and criticised the city police.

Published: 10th September 2020 11:07 PM  |   Last Updated: 10th September 2020 11:07 PM   |  A+A-

Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut

Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut (Photo | PTI)


MUMBAI: Union Minister Ramdas Athawale on Thursday met Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut, who has been at the centre of a controversy over her remarks on Mumbai and its police, and said she need not be afraid while in the city.

Athawale, a BJP ally, made it clear he does not agree with the remarks made by Ranaut, who had likened Mumbai to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and criticised the city police.

Athawale alleged that the Shiv Sena-controlled BMCs demolition drive at her bungalow in suburban Bandra was carried out a sentiment of revenge and added the Maharashtra government, too, had a role in it.

The minister said Ranaut had spoken the truth in connection with the death case of Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput.

He said the CBI, which is probing the death case, should arrive at a conclusion whether Rajput committed suicide or was murdered.

The Shiv Sena, which heads the alliance government in the state, and Ranaut had engaged in a war of words after she likened Mumbai to PoK and said she feared Mumbai Police more than alleged movie mafia.

Using a bulldozer and excavators, a BMC team had demolished the alterations allegedly made without the civic body's approval at Ranaut's bungalow at Pali Hill in suburban Bandra on Wednesday morning.

Athawale met Ranaut at her residence in suburban Khar here.

"I spoke to her for an hour. I told her she need not be afraid in Mumbai. Mumbai is of the Shiv Sena, RPI-A, BJP, Congress, NCP and people of all religion, caste and speaking all languages. Mumbai is the financial capital of the country. I told her our party (RPI-A) will be with her, Athawale said after meeting the actress."

Athawale said he respects Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and added the latter, who also heads the Sena, could have asked the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to refrain from undertaking the demolition drive at Ranaut's bungalow.

But it did not happen. We think the government, too, is behind it. The Pali Hill office action was taken on the orders of Uddhav Thackeray, he alleged.

The minister said Ranaut feels she was insulted by the BMC.

She said the BMC could have razed two-three inches of additional construction if it felt there was any. But the BMC demolished furniture inside the office too. She thinks she should get compensation, Athawale added.

The minister further said a case should be filed against Shiv Senas mouthpiece Saamana and its executive editor Sanjay Raut for allegedly carrying a story linking Kangana with drugs.

Does Saamana have any proof? A case should be filed against 'Saamana' and Raut if they file a story without proof, he added.

To a question, Athawale said he will welcome the actress into his party's fold if she wished to join it. Kangana said she is not interested in politics. but if she joins the RPI, I will welcome her 100 percent.

If she joins the BJP, we will welcome the decision 50 percent, he said.

Athawales party had come out in support of the actress and offered her security at the Mumbai airport when she returned to the city on Wednesday amid sloganeering by Shiv Sena workers.

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