Marathi news channel, Zee 24 Taas, boycotted the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) after it did not send any spokesperson for the channel's recent debate on Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut and her controversial statements on Mumbai.
"We have honourable guests with us on the debate. However, let me tell you at the onset, the BJP hasn't send their spokesperson and hence, we are boycotting them," the news anchor said in Marathi. "It was a BJP MLA (Ram Kadam) who added fuel to the fire and sparked this controversy, however, their U-turn is condemnable and hence, we have left the seat empty" he added.
Kangana Ranaut recently compared Mumbai to Pakistan occupied Kashmir (POK) and sparked a huge controversy.
It all started with Ranaut saying that she is more scared of the Mumbai Police than 'mafia goons'. BJP MLA Ram Kadam then batted for her safety and wrote a letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.
Reacting to the same, Ranaut wrote on Twitter, “Thank you for your concern sir, I am actually more scared of Mumbai police now than movie mafia goons, in Mumbai I would need security either from HP government or directly from the Centre, No Mumbai police please.”
Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut then slammed Kangana for her statement in the party mouthpiece 'Saamana' and wrote that her 'treachery' was shameful, given the fact she makes a living in the city and yet criticised the police force.
The Panga actress then took to Twitter and compared Mumbai to POK. She wrote, "Sanjay Raut Shiv Sena leader has given me an open threat and asked me not to come back to Mumbai, after Aazadi graffitis in Mumbai streets and now open threats, why Mumbai is feeling like Pakistan occupied Kashmir?"
Meanwhile, BJP distanced itself from the controversy, saying it does not agree with what Kangana Ranaut has said about Maharashtra and Mumbai.
BJP leader Ashish Shelar said, "We are clear in our position. Kangana Ranaut shouldn't try to teach Mumbai, Maharashtra and its people how to behave."