Shiv Sena on Saturday took a veiled dig at Bharatiya Janata Party and said that shifting Bollywood out of Mumbai is as not as easy as moving the proposed International Financial Service Centre (IFSC) from the financial capital. The editorial in Sena mouthpiece Saamana came two days after chief minister Uddhav Thackeray said that attempts to finish off the Hindi film industry in Mumbai or to shift it from the state capital will not be tolerated.
“Attempts are made to defame and demoralise Bollywood. In a way, it is an attempt from behind the curtains to finish off Mumbai and Maharashtra’s identity. It’s not as easy as moving the International Financial Service Centre out of Mumbai. Mumbai is not only the financial capital but also the entertainment capital. The chief minister has spoken to prominent people from the industry and has assured them,” said the Saamana.
Maharashtra government had planned IFSC at Bandra Kurla Complex in Mumbai. However, the Center gave permission for an international finance center at Dholera near Ahmedabad in Gujarat. Sena was referring to the move while alleging a conspiracy to shift or kill the Hindi film industry from Mumbai as stated first by Uddhav.
“Bollywood enjoys a following across the globe. The film industry generates huge employment, while actors get popular because of the movies. However, in the past few days, attempts have been made to malign the image of the film industry by certain quarters, which is painful. Moves to finish-off the Bollywood (film industry) or shift it elsewhere will never be tolerated,” Thackeray had said on Thursday.
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The Sena mouthpiece stated that the attempts to discredit the film industry started after actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death in Mumbai.
“Sushant Singh Rajput’s death by suicide was shocking as well as unfortunate. But the drama that followed on the small screens (TV news) was unbearable… Allegations of drug abuse was made against Bollywood, Daily lies were screamed [on channels] but no evidences were ever presented,” the article argued.
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After Bengaluru police raided actor Vivek Oberoi’s Mumbai home in connection to a drug probe against the actor’s brother-in-law, the Sena editorial said, “We are not saying that Vivek Oberoi, who is known to be a BJP supporter, has any connection to the drug probe but nobody can trust nowadays, who is connected to what.”
The reference to Oberoi came a day after Sena’s coalition partner in the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi government, the Congress party, demanded that the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) probed Oberoi and producer Sandeep Ssingh’s alleged link to illicit drugs trade.