Amidst a backlash from civil society, now the saint community and Vishwa Hindu Parishad are targetting the Maha-Vikas-Aghadi government and its chief minister Uddhav Thackeray over recent developments concerning Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut.
The priest of famous Hanuman temple at Ayodhya, Mahant Raju Das on Friday even said that the Shiv Sena supremo, Uddhav Thackeray is no more welcome in Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh. Questioning the BMC`s demolition of Ranaut`s office at Pali Hills, the priest Das said, Uddhav Thackeray and Shiv Sena are no more welcome in Ayodhya. Now, the Maharashtra Chief Minister will face stiff opposition from seers of Ayodhya if he comes at Ayodhya. It may be recalled that Thackeray had visited Ayodhya, along with his family members thrice in a span of two years, on November 24, 2018, then on June 16 last year and again in March this year after becoming the Chief Minister of Maharashtra.
The ‘selective’ action against illegal construction of Kangana Ranaut’s bungalow in Mumbai was criticised by a large section of people across the country. Several rights’ activists criticized the demolition of Kangana’s bungalow, saying there are thousands of other illegal structures but the civic body turns a blind eye to them. Godfrey Pimenta, lawyer and trustee of the NGO Watchdog Foundation, said the BMC should have given at least 48 hours to the actor to reply to its notice, though not seven days’ time as asked by her lawyer. “There are thousands of illegal structures in the city. The law should be applied equally to all the citizens. The action shouldn’t be selective,” he pointed out.
Another activist, Subhash Gupta, said had the BMC shown such alacrity in removing illegal slums, Mumbai would not have become so “unkempt”. Thousands of Bangladeshi nationals are staying in illegal 3-4-storey slums a stone’s throw away from Kalanagar, where Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray lives, he claimed and asked, “Hasn’t the BMC seen those?”
And such statements across the country, particularly in Mumbai and north India, indicated that the image and popularity of once a saffron party that fought for “Hinduvta” began to wane.
Over 100 people, including BMC workers, officials and police personnel had turned up with a bulldozer on Wednesday morning at Nargis Dutt Road to tear down parts of a quaint Pali Hill bungalow in Mumbai — the office of Manikarnika Films Private Limited, actor Kangana Ranaut’s production house, only because she had questioned Thackeray, his trusted lieutenant, Sanjay Raut and Mumbai police for “suppressing” the Sushant Singh’s mysterious death case.
The demolition also came at a time when Mumbai, the largest COVID-19 hotspot in the country, was struggling to contain the spread of Covid-19. The state capital, Mumbai has more coronavirus cases than 158 countries in the world.
Lashing out at the Uddhav government, the Ayodhya priest Das further said, The Maharashtra government acted without wasting any time against the actress. But the same government is yet to take action against the killers of two seers in Palghar.
The regional spokesperson of VHP, Sharad Sharma also criticised the Uddhav government and said, it is very clear that the Shiv Sena is deliberately targeting the actress because she is supporting nationalist forces and has raised her voice against drug mafia of Mumbai. Sharma said that the Maharashtra government was acting with malafide intention against Kangana.
Moreover, Mahant Kanhaiya Das, head of the Ayodhya Sant Samaj, also accused the Maharashtra government of shielding those who are involved in anti-social activities and warned the Maharashtra Chief Minister against coming to Ayodhya. “Now, Uddhav Thackeray is no more welcome in Ayodhya. Why the Shiv Sena is is attacking Ranaut? Everyone can understand. It is not a mystery. The Shiv Sena is not the same what it used to be under Balasaheb Thackeray,” thundered Mahant Kanhaiya Das. Will Shiv Sena and its leaders, particularly Uddhav Thackeray and his vocal spokesman, Sanjay Raut, introspect the matter sensibly after such reactions across the country ?