War of words: Shobha De versus Shiv Sena, MNS

Mumbai, July 31 : An innocuous Twitter comment by celebrity author Shobha De became the cause of a bitter backlash by two major political parties in the state here Wednesday.

De's tweet on the possibility of separating Mumbai from Maharashtra after the formation of Telangana evoked sharp reactions from the Shiv Sena and the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), led by the warring cousins Uddhav Thackeray and Raj Thackeray respectively.

The Shiv Sena reacted by alleging that De was talking as if she was drunk after a Page 3 party.

Party spokesman Sanjay Raut said the state government should register an offence against this 'bai' (woman) for her remark.

"After Telangana, many people in Maharashtra are overjoyed and are clamouring for a separate Vidarbha or a separate Mumbai. If they cannot respect Maharashtra, we shall teach them how to do so," Raut declared.

Raj Thackeray went a step further and attacked De by saying that creating a new state was not as easy as getting a divorce and she would understand that.

De's tweet was: "Maharashtra and Mumbai??? Why not? Mumbai has always fancied itself as an independent entity anyway. This game has countless possibilities."

Later, De said that it was a satirical tweet in the context of the newly-proposed Telangana state, which was not to be taken literally since she was neither recommending nor endorsing it.

De explained it was a comment on how lot of political parties would take advantage of narrow interests with elections just round the corner.

On Raj Thackeray's acidic reaction, De brushed it aside and said that she took them as "seriously" as his cartoons, and he could understand satire better than anyone else.

--IANS (Posted on 31-07-2013)

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