A tweet from writer Shobhaa De on Wednesday stirred up the political circles in Maharashtra.
“Maharashtra and Mumbai??? Why not? Mumbai has always fancied itself as an independent entity, anyway. This game has countless possibilities,” tweeted Ms. De after the announcement of Telangana State.
Her comment angered all political leaders, with the Shiv Sena even demanding that a case be registered against her. “It’s not quite as easy as getting a divorce,” replied Raj Thackeray, president of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, to Ms. De.
Sena MP and party spokesperson Sanjay Raut claimed her tweet as a betrayal of Maharashtra. “Sena will bring her back to senses if she is still under the influence of ‘peg’ from her page 3 parties,” he said.
The BJP, which has supported the formation of smaller States, too, reacted sharply against Ms. De. “We do not want to suppress the freedom of expression. One hundred and five martyrs sacrificed their lives for the formation of Maharashtra with Mumbai. Her statement is utterly wrong and should be condemned. The government must take legal action against her,” said BJP MLC Ashish Shelar.
The Nationalist Congress Party executive president Jitendra Awhad said, “There is no need to take her comments seriously. Come what may, we will not let Mumbai separate from the rest of Maharashtra.”