Does Raj Thackeray run a parallel government, Congress asks Maharashtra CM

Mumbai: The state Congress on Monday asked Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis whether Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) President Raj Thackeray is running a parallel government in the state.

“Why should filmmakers run to Thackeray for getting ‘permission’ to release their films even though the Central Board for Film Certification had cleared them,” Mumbai Congress President Sanjay Nirupam said in a statement here.

“In the name of patriotism, some people resort to extortion, and the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government is keeping quiet,” Nirupam said.

“Yesterday (Sunday), Shah Rukh Khan went to meet him (Raj Thackarey) for permission to ensure the safe release of his upcoming film ‘Raees’, which has a Pakistani actress,” Nirupam said.

Shah Rukh Khan met Thackeray at the latter’s residence on Sunday night regarding the January 25 release of ‘Raees’.

“Who is Raj Thackeray? What has gone wrong that even after a green signal from the film board, filmmakers are forced to knock on his doors for releasing their movies?” the Congress leader asked.

Wondering whether Thackeray runs a parallel administration in the state, Nirupam demanded a reply from Fadnavis since, he added, it’s a matter of shame for the Chief Minister.

He said it was the government’s duty to ensure the safe exhibition of films.

Nirupam said when the Shiv Sena protested during the release of ‘My Name Is Khan’ in 2010, the then Congress-led government took responsibility for law and order in the state.

During his Sunday meeting, Shah Rukh Khan assured the MNS chief that lead actress Mahira Khan of Pakistan will not come to India to promote the film.

He also committed not to engage any Pakistani actors in any film in future.

The superstar was worried by rumours on social media that Mahira was likely to come to India next month for promoting the film and participating in its premiere.

However, Shah Rukh Khan put all rumours to rest and personally called on Thackeray to apprise him of the situation.

In view of his clarifications, the MNS declared it will not oppose the release or screening of ‘Raees’ in cinema halls in Mumbai.