Extending support to Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut, involved in a face-off with the Shiv Sena, seers of Ayodhya and the Vishva Hindu Parishad said on Thursday that Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray is no more welcome in the temple town of Ayodhya, believed to be the birthplace of Lord Ram.
Thackeray had visited Ayodhya on November 24, 2018, then on June 16 last year and again in March this year after becoming the chief minister.
The war of words between Ranaut and Thackeray’s Shiv Sena had intensified after the Mumbai civic body partially demolished the actor’s office in the city on Wednesday.
Ranaut, who landed in Mumbai on Wednesday from Himachal Pradesh, angry and caustic as she took on the Shiv Sena, called her home “Ram mandir”, referred to ‘Bollywood’ and described herself as the daughter of Chhatrapati Shivaji in a series of tweets and a video.
Addressing Maharashtra Chief Minister and Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray, Ranaut posted a video message saying his “ego will be destroyed” the way her Bandra home was demolished.
“Uddhav Thackeray, ‘tujhe kya lagta hai (what do you think)?’ You think you have taken huge revenge by destroying my house in collusion with the movie mafia. Today my house is destroyed, tomorrow it will be your ego. The wheels of time keep changing,” she said in a video message in Hindi, referring to the chief minister in the informal ‘tu’ rather than the more respectful ‘aap’.
Mahant Kanahiya Das, head of the Ayodhya Sant Samaj, accused the Maharashtra government of shielding those who are involved in anti-social activities and warned the Maharashtra CM against coming to Ayodhya.
“Now, Uddhav Thackeray is no more welcome in Ayodhya. Why is the Shiv Sena attacking Ranaut? Everyone can understand. It is not a mystery. The Shiv Sena is not what it used to be under Balasaheb Thackeray, founder of the party,” said Kanahiya Das.
Ranaut has crossed swords with the Shiv Sena with her remark comparing Mumbai to Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir.
Meanwhile, the Naga seers of Hanuman Garhi temple in Ayodhya have also extended support to Ranaut.
Raju Das, the priest of the temple, questioned the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s demolition of Ranaut’s office. “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 here,” warned Das.
“The Maharashtra government acted without wasting any time against the actor. But the same government is yet to take action against the killers of two seers in Palghar,” said Das. He was referring to the killing of two sadhus and their driver on April 16 in Palghar, Maharashtra, by an unruly mob.
The Naga sadhus and the Akhil Bhartiya Akhada Parishad (ABAP) — the apex decision-making body of the 13 recognised Hindu monastic orders of the country — have demanded a CBI probe into the Palghar killings.
“The Maharashtra government is acting with a malafide motive against Ranaut. It was not expected from the Shiv Sena to attack a woman and demolish her office without any reason,” said Sharad Sharma, regional spokesperson of VHP.
“It is very clear that the Shiv Sena is deliberately targeting the actor because she is supporting nationalist forces and has raised her voice against drug Mafiosi of Mumbai,” added Sharma.