Hitting out at Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray for his comments at a rally, Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut, on Monday, described him as “the worse product of nepotism” and said her state Himachal Pradesh is the land of the gods not ‘ganja fields’.
The actor, who has been vocal about her criticism of the state government’s handling of the investigation into actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death and labelled Bollywood a drug haven, lashed out against Thackeray a day after his Dussehra address. "People who have no means of livelihood in their home come to Mumbai and betray it. Calling Mumbai PoK is in fact the failure of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He had said he would get back PoK into India," Thackeray said on Sunday.
Ranaut’s remark equating Mumbai with Pakistan-occupied Kashmir had led to a furore, drawing the battle-lines between the Shiv Sena and her.
"Those crying for justice for Bihar's son are indulging in character assassination of Maharashtra's son," the chief minister said at the Sena's annual Dussehra rally, breaking his silence on allegations against his son Aaditya Thackeray in the Rajput death case.
Ranaut, known for her provocative statements, struck back in a series of tweets and a video on the social media platform and said Thackeray had abused her in his speech by calling her ‘namak haraam’. "As a chief minister, you have let down an entire state only because you are angry with a woman who is of your son's age. You were very angry with me when I compared Mumbai with (PoK) after I was threatened because slogans of 'Free Kashmir' were raised there. Your 'Sonia Sena' had defended all that, that's why I had compared it with PoK,” she said in the video.
The actor said Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut had abused her and now it was Thackeray. “Shame on you, I am your son’s age. This is how you speak to a self-made single woman. Chief minister, you are the worse product of nepotism.”
She also took umbrage at Thackeray’s reference to ‘ganja fields’ in Himachal Pradesh and said it is actually ‘dev bhoomi’, land of the gods. “What I want to tell you is: governments come and go. You are just a government servant and the people of Maharashtra are not happy with you. Governments come and go but if a person loses respect, he can't get it back,” she said.
The actor said opportunities that Mumbai offered belong to everyone and both the Himachal Pradesh and Mumbai were her homes.
Ranaut has been in the headlines for locking horns with the Shiv Sena following Rajput’s death, be it for criticising Mumbai Police over its investigation into the case or lambasting the film industry for alleged drug use.
Ranaut had again compared Mumbai with PoK after the Shiv Sena-led BMC demolished "illegal alterations" at her Bandra bungalow.
She also said the Maharashtra government was trying to put her in jail after a complaint against her at a Mumbai court for "spreading hate and breaking the brotherhood, integrity of the country" through her provocative statements.