In the backdrop of a recent attack on a film studio here by members of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), party chief Raj Thackeray on Sunday requested members of associations affiliated to the film and television industry to ignore persons claiming to be from his party and demanding money.
Last week, a group of more than 50 MNS activists attacked the Filmalaya studio, where shooting of businessman Raj Kundra’s reality show was in progress. The activists had allegedly demanded ransom money of Rs. 5 lakh from Mr. Kundra’s staff and were angered when it was denied.
Comceding that his party men were involved ‘in a few instances’ in the past, Mr. Thackeray said that in many cases outside elements were using his party’s name to harass the industry members.
“I request you to ignore any person who approaches you under my party’s name for any kind of issue which does not involve the clean agenda of MNS,” wrote Mr. Thackeray in his letter, addressed to the film and television industry.
He has also appealed to it to disregard any person making monetary demands by posing as MNS activist and to immediately call the party leadership.
The Maharashtra Navnirman Chitrapat Sena (MNCS), which is the film wing of the party, has in the past carried out violent agitations against multiplexes for giving priority to Hindi films over Marathi films. The issue of ‘Mumbai’ being referred to as ‘Bombay’ in films was also taken up by the MNCS. It had also campaigned against foreign actors, who were working in Mumbai without work permit, during which shootings of many films were disrupted by the activists.
Calling himself ‘an ardent film viewer,’ Mr. Thackeray assured the industry that he and his party do not stand for mindless behaviour.