MUMBAI: In the wake of comments by celebrities on the ongoing farmers' protest, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray on Sunday said that the government should not have "asked" big personalities like former batsman Sachin Tendulkar and legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar to tweet in their support on the issue and put their "reputation" at stake.
The MNS chief said that the agitation is against the government policies and not concerning issues of national interest.
"The government should not have asked big personalities like Sachin Tendulkar and Lata Mangeshkar to tweet in support of its stand and put their reputation at stake. They are recipients of Bharat Ratna. Actors like Akshay Kumar were enough for this task," said Thackeray.
"This issue was about the policies of the government and not of the country. It was not a matter related to China or Pakistan. It was a matter of farmers. The Bharat Ratna recipients tweeted on behalf of the government and now they are being trolled," he said.
Days after Tendulkar made comments on the protest by farmers, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar had asked the former Indian cricketer to "exercise caution while speaking about other fields".
"Many people (celebrities) have reacted sharply to the stand taken by them (farmers). My suggestion to Sachin Tendulkar is he should be cautious while commenting on fields other than his domain," Pawar had said.
Taking to Twitter, former Indian cricket team captain tweeted: "India's sovereignty cannot be compromised. External forces can be spectators but not participants. Indians know India and should decide for India. Let's remain united as a nation. #IndiaTogether #IndiaAgainstPropaganda."
His remarks came after a few international celebrities including pop star Rihanna commented on farmers' protests.
Farmers have been protesting on the different borders of the national capital since November 26 last year against the three new farm laws: Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; the Farmers Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and farm Services Act 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.