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Not upset with producers, says Thackeray director Abhijit Panse; MNS slams Shiv Sena

The filmmaker had left the special screening of the film soon after he arrived with his family. 

Keyur Seta

Thackeray (2019) director Abhijeet Panse left the special screening of the film last evening in Mumbai soon after he arrived. There have been reports that he was upset as he and his family weren’t given front row seats where the special guests had been seated.

However, Panse has today said that although he left the screening soon, he isn’t upset with the producers. “There was no place to sit because of a lot of crowd. So, I felt what should I do for two hours? I also had my daughters with me. Hence, we went for dinner,” he said.

Panse has blamed the management of the venue and feels the incident shouldn’t be given importance. “I think it was because of the mismanagement at the venue. Nobody has done it personally. I feel this is very personal. Instead, we should be more interested in the fact that the film is releasing tomorrow all over Maharashtra,” he added.

The movie is produced by Shiv Sena under its leader Sanjay Raut's banner, Raut'ers Entertainment. Interestingly, Panse is a member of Raj Thackeray’s Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), the rival party.

Despite Panse’s clarifications, MNS leaders Ameya Khopkar and Sandeep Deshpande have slammed Shiv Sena for allegedly ignoring Panse from the activities surrounding the film. By taking an indirect dig at Raut, Khopkar wrote on his Twitter page, “There was one Sanjay who provided vision to Dritrashtra [Mahabharata reference]. And there is this Sanjay who is directionless.”

Even during the events and promotions, Panse was nowhere to be seen. Only Nawazuddin Siddiqui, who plays Bal Thackeray, and Raut were seen at promotions.

Deshpande said, “The respected Balasaheb used to love even an ordinary party member. He never used to insult anyone. This is the message of the film, which its producers themselves haven’t understood. #ISupportAbhijitPanse”. MNS supporters expressed their support for Panse.

What added fuel to the fire is the latest hoarding put up by MNS at their den Shivaji Park in Mumbai. The party offered good wishes only to Panse for the film. It said, “Good wishes to MNS leader Abhijit Panse who directed film Thackeray [sic].”

Also starring Amrita Rao, Thackeray will be released tomorrow 25 January.