Can’t let state turn into banana republic: Maha CM warns Sena

Mumbai: Sending out a strong message to ally Shiv Sena, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis tonight disapproved of its protests against former Pakistan Foreign Minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri here and asserted that he “can’t let the state turn into a banana republic”.

Hours after Shiv Sena activists blackened the face of ORF chief Sudheendra Kulkarni over his refusal to cancel the function to launch Kasuri’s book, Fadnavis said, “we cannot endorse Mr Kasuri” but there could have been better ways to put forth the point of view.

“We may not agree with views of somebody, but when a foreign dignitary or a diplomat arrives on a valid visa and holds a programme, which is not illegal, it’s the duty of a state to provide protection,” the Chief Minister said while commenting on Shiv Sena’s protests.

“We cannot endorse Mr Kasuri, but can’t let our state turn into banana republic. The rule of law has prevailed. I think the way things have happened has brought a bad name to our state. There could have been better ways to put forth a point of view,” he added.

Despite Shiv Sena’s protests and blackening of the face of Kulkarni by some of its supporters, the organisers went ahead with the launch of Kasuri’s book ‘Neither a Hawk nor a Dove: An Insider’s Account of Pakistan’s Foreign Policy’ at a function here.

The function was held amid tight security.