Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) politician and former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on 11 September accused the Shiv Sena of blowing the Kangana Ranaut issue “out of proportion”. Fadnavis took a jibe at Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s party, saying that while the corporation run by his party ordered the demolition of the Bollywood actor’s office in Mumbai, it wouldn’t dare demolish fugitive underworld kingpin Dawood Ibrahim’s house in the city.
“Kangana Ranaut’s issue was blown out of proportion by you. She is not a political leader. You don’t go to demolish Dawood’s home but you demolished her place,” Fadnavis said.
The jibe by Fadnavis comes in the backdrop of the public perception that the BJP ruling the Centre is siding with Kangana who raised the issue of Sushant Singh Rajput’s mysterious death, which points fingers at Mumbai Police and the Maharashtra government led by Thackeray’s Shiv Sena.
The action by the Sena-controlled BMC came in the backdrop of the party’s recent war of words with the actor over her comments comparing Mumbai with Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). It has led to allegations that the demolition by the civic body was an act of ‘witch-hunt.’
Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut, one of the key figures had on 10 September dismissed these allegations in the said faceoff, saying that the Maharashtra government has no connection with the action taken by BMC. Later, he said the Kangana issue is now over for his party.
Actor Kangana Ranaut in a tweet said that, as a symbolic gesture, she will not renovate the portions of her office that were demolished on 9 September by the BMC. The BMC carried out the demolition based on alleged structural violations.
In a tweet, the actor wrote, “I had my office opening on 15th Jan, shortly after corona hit us, like most of us I haven’t worked ever since, don’t have money to renovate it, I will work from those ruins keep that office ravaged as a symbol of a woman’s will that dared to rise in this world.” She added the hashtag, “Kangana vs Uddhav,” a sign of her continued altercation with Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray.
Flanked by security guards provided by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, Kangana arrived in Mumbai on 9 September, hours after the BMC carried out the demolition. On 10 September, the actor paid a visit to the property and surveyed the damage.
The Y-plus category security cover was provided by the Union home minister Amit Shah after Kangana expressed concerns for her safety following a war of words with Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut. The controversy started when she said that she feels unsafe in Mumbai, and compared it to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. Raut condemned her comments, and advised her not to set foot in Maharashtra.
In a video message posted on Twitter, Kangana addressed Thackeray directly, and said in Hindi, “Uddhav Thackeray, did you think that you got revenge from me by colluding with the film mafia and demolishing my house? My house has been demolished today but your pride will crumble tomorrow. Time will change. I think you have done me a huge favour. I knew what Kashmiri Pandits must have gone through, but today, I have experienced it. I vow that I will make a film, not just on Ayodhya but also on Kashmir. I will rouse my fellow countrymen. It has happened to me, which has some meaning and significance. Uddhav Thackeray, it is a good thing that it was me who was subjected to this cruelty and terror. It definitely has some significance. Jai Hind, Jai Maharashtra!”