Mumbai: Shiv Sena MLA Pratap Sarnaik, who had been engaged in a war of words with Kangana Ranaut, Monday filed a breach of privilege motion against the actor in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly.
Sarnaik filed the motion against Ranaut for alleging in a tweet that there was a credit card from Pakistan found at his residence during an Enforcement Directorate (ED) raid. The Shiv Sena leader has also filed a breach of privilege motion against all media outlets, who carried news stories talking about the Pakistani credit card based on her tweet.
Ranaut had on 12 December retweeted a user’s tweet who had posted: “So @KanganaTeam was right. Credit Card of Pakistan National recovered from Shiv Sena MLA Pratap Sarnaik’s residence.”
In response, Ranaut wrote: “He had threatened to break my face when I had said Mumbai was feeling like POK. India recognise those who are staking everything for you and those who are taking everything from you. Where you place your faith their lies your future. India Pakistan na ban jaye sambhalo yaaron (Friends, let India not be Pakistan).”
He had threatened to break my face when I had said Mumbai was feeling like POK.
India recognise those who are staking everything for you and those who are taking everything from you.
Where you place your faith their lies your future.
India Pakistan na ban jaye sambhalo yaaron ? https://t.co/3XdWF2m8vC
— Kangana Ranaut (@KanganaTeam) December 12, 2020
The MLA and his family members have been under the ED’s lens in connection with a Rs 175-crore money laundering case that it has registered against security services firm Tops Group, its promoter Rahul Nanda and others.
The MLA told reporters outside Vidhan Bhavan Monday: “Since the past several days, there’s been an ED inquiry against me. I am extending my full cooperation.”
“I have told ED that whenever they need me they should just call and I will be there in two hours. But saying things like Pakistani credit cards, Rafale papers have been found at Pratap Sarnaik’s house, papers of a partnership with (former US President) Donald Trump have been found at Pratap Sarnaik’s house — there is a clear conspiracy to defame me by publishing such false news,” he said.
The MLA added: “I have filed a breach of privilege motion against Kangana Ranaut for her baseless tweet and against all those print, electronic and social media who filed false news stories based on her tweet. I am requesting the assembly speaker to accept the motion immediately.”
Sarnaik filed the motion in the special two-day winter session of the state legislature that began in Mumbai Monday. The session was curtailed to two days from the usual two weeks due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Sarnaik’s war of words with Ranaut
Sarnaik has been in conflict with Ranaut ever since the actor compared Mumbai to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir in September. The MLA had then tweeted saying his party’s soldiers will break her face if she comes to Mumbai.
Speaking to ThePrint then, Sarnaik had said the BJP was using Ranaut as a weapon to politically attack the Shiv Sena.
“We have information that the Twitter handle of Kangana Ranaut (@KanganaTeam) is actually operated by the BJP’s IT cell,” he had said.
During the monsoon session of the state legislature in September, Congress MLC Ashok Jagtap had filed a breach of privilege motion against Ranaut in the upper house for her controversial remarks comparing Mumbai with Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
Breach of privilege motions
During the monsoon session of the assembly, which was also curtailed to two days, Sarnaik had filed a breach of privilege motion against Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami.
Sarnaik had said Goswami through his channel is holding a media trial where he considers himself to be a judge and gives rulings, insulting Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, ministers and members of the House.
The motion against Goswami, however, wasn’t the first such that Sarnaik, an MLA from Thane district’s Ovala Majiwada constituency, has moved in the assembly.
In April 2015, when the budget session of the state assembly was underway, Sarnaik had moved a breach of privilege motion against author Shobhaa De for tweeting against the Maharashtra government’s decision to make it mandatory for multiplexes to screen Marathi movies during prime time. It had drawn much flak from the opposition.