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Hema's 'anti-north' comments invite anger; effigies burnt

January 25, 2007 19:24 IST
Remarks by actor-turned-politician Hema Malini about north Indians in the city are likely to snowball into a major political issue, with BMC elections round the corner.

Angry protesters, most of them north Indians, burnt effigies of the actress.

Congress and NCP workers participated in the protests, organised in suburban Andheri and Bandra. MPCC spokesperson Sanjay Nirupam said Hema Malini should "apologise if she really understood and meant what she said."

She was asked at an election meeting on Wednesday evening about north Indians not being happy with the treatment given to them in the city, to which she allegedly replied, "If they have a problem, they should go back."

"She has hurt the sentiments of north Indians who form a significant part of the city population," Nirupam, who led one such protest, told PTI.

The timing of the remarks could not have been any worse, with all parties, including Hema Malini's BJP, trying to woo the north Indian voters for the BMC polls.

Another MPCC spokesperson Husain Dalwai said, "She should remember that she is an MP first and then an actor before making such irresponsible statement."

Mumbai has a large population of north Indians, especially those hailing from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, and also a significant migrant population from different southern states.

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