Acrimonious exchanges between actor Kangana Ranaut and Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray intensified on Monday after the actor accused him of abusing her by calling her “namak haram” – or treacherous – during his Dussehra address on Sunday. Ranaut said that Thackeray’s distasteful comments against her showed that he was the “worst product of nepotism”.
During his annual address to the state on the occasion of Dussehra on Sunday, Thackeray made several indirect references to Ranaut and criticised her for saying that Mumbai felt like Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and that she feared living in the city. Ranaut’s remarks have been heavily criticised by the Shiv Sena in the past.
“People who have no means of livelihood in their home come to Mumbai and betray it,” the chief minister had said, according to PTI. “Calling Mumbai PoK [Pakistan-occupied Kashmir] is in fact the failure of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He had said he would get back PoK into India.”
Thackeray also took a swipe at the actor for questioning the Mumbai Police’s investigation into Sushant Singh Rajput’s death and said that those “crying for justice for Bihar’s son are indulging in character assassination of Maharashtra’s son,” referring to the allegations against Aaditya Thackeray.
Ranaut, known for her provocative statements, replied in a series of tweets and a video on Twitter on Monday. “Shame on you, I am your son’s age,” she said. “This is how you speak to a self-made single woman. Chief minister, you are the worse product of nepotism.”
The actor added that the chief minister had let down the entire state of Maharashtra by letting out his anger on Ranaut. “You were very angry with me when I compared Mumbai with [Pok] after I was threatened because slogans of ‘Free Kashmir’ were raised there,” she said, as she went on to mock Congress President Sonia Gandhi. “Your ‘Sonia Sena’ had defended all that, that’s why I had compared it with PoK.”
The actor also accused Thackeray of insulting her home state and said that Himachal Pradesh was the “land of gods and not ganja fields”.
In his speech on Sunday, Thackeray had said: “Mumbai is PoK, there are drug addicts everywhere – they are painting such a picture. They don’t know in our house we grow tulsi, not ganja [marijuana]. Ganja fields are in your state, you know where, not in our Maharashtra.”
Ranaut on Monday called the chief minister a mere “government servant” and alleged that the people of Maharashtra were unhappy with him. “What I want to tell you is: governments come and go,” she said. “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.”
In a separate tweet, the actor said that she was not “drunk on her father’s powers and wealth” like Thackeray, adding that if she wanted to be a “nepotism product” she would’ve stayed back in Himachal Pradesh.