"BMC, these are mumbai road and all you are concerned about is DEMOLITION of an actress house who is exposing mafia. KUDOS to you..!! #DeathOfDemocracy," Kangana tweeted.
Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut landed here on Wednesday, hours after the Shiv Sena-controlled civic body demolished illegal alterations in her Bandra bungalow, prompting her to lash out at the ruling party’s boss and Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. In a video message in which she addresses Thackeray as “tu” (you), Kangana said, “Uddhav Thackeray, tujhe kya lagta hai? (what do you think?) My home was demolished today, your arrogance will crumble tomorrow.” “Thus is the wheel of time, it keeps changing,” Kangana reminded Thackeray, bemoaning the BMC demolishing most of the illegal alterations in the bungalow which she purchased in September 2017, reportedly for Rs 20 crore. It was not all bad news for the ‘Queen’ actor as the Bombay High Court stayed the demolition process initiated by the BMC for illegal construction at her bungalow, which is being used by her as her office.
The court also sought to know how did the civic body enter the property when the owner (Ranaut) was not present. Kangana landed here from her home state Himachal Pradesh in the afternoon, amid protests by Shiv Sena workers at the airport over her remarks on Mumbai police. On her arrival, she was taken to her residence in suburban Khar amid tight security, a police official said. Kangana, who flew from Chandigarh by a scheduled commercial flight, landed at Mumbai around 2.30 pm. Sena workers with black flags were seen outside the airport, shouting slogans against her. Workers of the RPI (A) and Karni Sena, who also gathered there, raised slogans in her support. RPI (A) leader and Union minister Ramdas Athawale had declared that his party workers will protect Kangana while she is in Mumbai. “She was escorted out of the airport by personnel of Central security forces and Mumbai police and was provided security right from the tarmac,” the official said. The 33-year-old actress has been provided Y-plus category security cover by the Centre. Police have been deployed outside her Khar residence, near which some Sena workers gathered, even before she reached there.
In Himachal Pradesh Assembly, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur condemned the demolition, saying she “is a daughter” of the state and she should get a “proper atmosphere” to work in her field. Kangana has courted a controversy with her recent comments about the Mumbai Police and Maharashtra. In response to a remark by Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut where he asked her not to come back to the city after she claimed she felt unsafe in the city, Kangana had compared Mumbai with PoK. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation on Wednesday demolished “illegal alterations” at her Bandra bungalow. “Most of the planned demolition was carried out by the time the High Court stayed the demolition process,” a civic official said. The BMC came in for flak for the demolition, with some critics saying she was targeted while other defaulters were spared. Kangana said the civic body should focus on the shoddy state of roads instead of targeting her bungalow.
“BMC, these are mumbai road and all you are concerned about is DEMOLITION of an actress house who is exposing mafia. KUDOS to you..!! #DeathOfDemocracy,” Kangana tweeted. She also posted a photo of a Mumbai road riddled with several potholes. Senior journalist Nauzer Bharucha said, “If a forensic audit is done of most new buildings that have come up in Bandra-Khar area, it would reveal massive FSI manipulation, illegal floors, unauthorised balconies and construction areas much more than what is permissible.”
“The demolition of the unauthorised portion of Kangana Ranauts bungalow on Pali Hill is nothing but a muscular show of state power when much bigger construction crimes have been condoned,” said Bharucha, who has been covering real estate for over two decades for a leading English newspaper here. “A few years ago, when comedian Kapil Sharma publicly accused BMC officials of seeking a Rs five lakh bribe from him, the civic administration promptly issued him a demolition notice for his Goregaon apartment,” he said. NCP chief Sharad Pawar said undue importance is being attached to Kangana’s statements, adding people are not taking her remarks seriously. Kangana’s lawyer Rizwan Siddiqui claimed the BMC was lying about illegal construction at the bungalow. “BMC said they gave stop-work notice. But such notice is given when the construction process is underway. There is no construction going on at the place. It was over about one-and-a-half years ago,” he said.
Siddiqui said the civic authorities did not stop the process even after being told that Kangana had moved the Bombay High Court against the demolition. The day-long drama, where the action shifted from Bandra, south Mumbai, the airport and Khar had some lighter moments too. Outside Kangana’s bungalow, a masked person was asked by waiting media persons why did he (BMC) demolish portions of the bungalow. “I did not demolish (it). I am a postman,” he quipped.