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News Marathi

Raj Thackeray slams Nana Patekar for supporting hawkers, mocks his Welcome character

Actor Patekar had criticized Thackeray's party for forcibly evicting hawkers from outside railway stations. 

Our Correspondent

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief, Raj Thackeray has come down heavily on veteran actor Nana Patekar for criticizing his party workers for forcibly evicting hawkers from outside railway stations in Mumbai.

Speaking at a rally in Mumbai, Thackeray started off by mocking Patekar by mimicking and stating that he sounds like an '80-year-old man'. He highlighted the actor’s character from Welcome (2007) to drive home his point. “He used to sell vegetables in Welcome saying ‘Aloo lelo, kaande lelo.’ That’s why he started feeling for hawkers. He should stop getting involved in things he doesn’t understand,” said Thackeray.

He added that the actor should stay away from issues he ‘doesn’t know about.’ “You are an excellent Marathi cinema actor. We shall watch your films. But don’t enter into issues you don’t know about,” he said.

Thackeray also spoke about Patekar’s Naam Foundation NGO. “He said that government should do something regarding it and we should tell the government about it. We initially went to the government only. But then, the water crisis should also be solved by the government. So, why did Patekar start an NGO? He should have rather gone to the government to solve water issue too. When the government is unable to solve water crisis, didn’t Patekar feel that he should do something? Hence, Nana shouldn’t teach us what to do with hawkers,” he said.

He also questioned the actor for not speaking up during issues related to Marathi cinema. “When Marathi films weren’t getting screens, I don’t recollect Nana Patekar speaking up then. At that time, we made sure the films got screens and that too for prime time. I can’t understand this. You are such a big artist and we love you. So, just speak and fight in favour of Maharashtra,” added Thackeray.

Thackeray applauded south Indian actors for their role in fighting for social causes. “Look at the south Indian artists. They are so concerned about their issues and they come on the roads. But we can’t see our stars coming on roads for our issues. It’s okay if you don’t wish to. But why to poke your nose in between? Do you even understand the issue?” he asked.

Speaking about the issue, Patekar had criticized MNS last week saying, “Why are you forcibly evicting poor hawkers who sell their wares in search of a one-time meal? Hawkers are not at fault, they are at least trying hard to sell something so as to fill their stomachs. Then why is the govt stepping on their stomachs. Nobody has the right to snatch their livelihood.”