Kolkata, Aug 1 IBNS | 2 years ago

Writer Shobhaa De said she will not apologize for her controversial tweet that created a storm for saying Mumbai has countless possibilities to become a separate state.

"I am absolutely astonished by this reaction and if you want to take on someone take them on on what the content of that tweet is and when you descend to make personal comments, it does not reflect on me, it reflects on the person making them. So I am going to ignore it," De told CNN-IBN.

"There is no question of an apology for a tweet that is harmless, that is innocent. At no point have I suggested that Mumbai should be separated from Maharashtra," she said.

"In a democracy, we have a right to express ourselves. No hurt or harm was meant to the state to which I belong," she said.

"Maharashtra and Mumbai??? Why not? Mumbai has always fancied itself as an independent entity, anyway. This game has countless possibilities," the columnist tweeted on Wednesday.

Her tweet came a day after the Congress led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) announced the decision to create a new Telangana state by bifurcating Andhra Pradesh.

Political parties like the Shiv Sena and Raj Thackeray's Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) slammed De for her "suggestion".

"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," Shiv Sena spokesperson Sanjay Raut told media.

Slamming De, Raj Thackeray said this idea to create a separate would not be as easy as getting a divorce.

The Nationalist Congress Party's (NCP) spokesperson Nawab Malik said, "Such demands are not acceptable."

Even the opposition in the state has agreed on this as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) asked the Maharashtra government to take action against De.

With India's ruling Congress party on Tuesday approving a move to carve out the Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh as the 29th state of the country, many such demands have come to the fore.

In Maharshtra, Congressmen want a separate Vidarbha state to be carved out of it.

Congress MP Vilas Muttemwar, who is a member of the Congress Working Committee, has reportedly written to party president Sonia Gandhi to press for this demand.

Protesters in West Bengal's Darjeeling are demanding for a separate Gorkhaland.

In Assam, protesters are demanding a separate Karbi Anglong state.

(Posted on 01-08-2013)