The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) on Wednesday withdrew its offer of protection to the film Padmaavat as the Karni Sena threatened to blacken the face of party chief Raj Thackeray.
The move comes after Shalini Thackeray, working president of MNS’ film wing, said her party would offer protection to the movie. After her statement, Karni Sena became aggressive. “We will blacken the face of Raj Thackeray,” warned Ajay Singh Sengar, president of Karni Sena (Maharashtra).
This set off alarm bells in the MNS camp and at once Raj directed his party leaders to make amends. “We are not a security agency to offer protection to any movie,” said Ameya Khopkar, president of MNS’ film wing. “Shalini Thackeray made this offer in her personal capacity and it is not the party’s stance,” he added.
He tried to pacify Karni Sena, saying that there was a misunderstanding. He said one-and-a-half months ago, he himself told filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhanshali to show the movie to Karni Sena to resolve the issue.
This has exposed the fissures in the MNS as many in the party were not happy with the rise of Shalini, sister-in-law of Raj. Ever since the party was formed, Shalini has played a pivotal role and risen rapidly to become one of the top ranking MNS leaders.
Shalini on Tuesday warned that they would not let anybody prohibit the release of the movie in Mumbai.
“If anyone tries to obstruct the release of Padmaavat in the Mumbai region, they will have to face the wrath of MNS workers,” Shalini said.