Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan on Thursday termed writer Shobhaa De’s tweet suggesting that Mumbai be given the status of a separate State as “frivolous.” He said the State would remain united.

Ms. De, on the other hand, has claimed the tweet, purely satirical, was misconstrued. “Maharashtra and Mumbai??? Why not? Mumbai has always fancied itself as an independent entity, anyway. This game has countless possibilities,” Ms. De tweeted after the announcement of the creation of Telangana.

“The comments are frivolous and should not be taken seriously. Neither Mumbai nor Vidarbha will be separated from Maharashtra,” said Mr. Chavan, adding, “Unity is our strength.”

The Shiv Sena held demonstrations outside Ms. De’s house in south Mumbai, demanding an apology from her. “She must extend an apology to the people of Maharashtra. She has hurt the feelings of Marathi people,” said Pandurang Sakpal, Sena’s South Mumbai zone president.

State Industries Minister Narayan Rane’s son Nitesh, who runs NGO Swabhiman Sanghatana, too slammed Ms. De, saying she was not aware of the ground realities or people’s sentiments. “Rather than [on] Twitter, Shobhaa De should say the same thing on the streets of Mumbai openly, after which she won’t be left with any ‘shobha’ [dignity] forever,” he said.

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