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Pawar slams Sena for MNIK protests

February 12, 2010 20:50 IST

Union Minister Sharad Pawar, whose recent meeting with Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray left ally Congress fuming, firmly told the Shiv Sena not to impose its authority, as he hailed Mumbaikars for defying the Sena's protests against My Name is Khan .

"There is an autonomous institution in this country which decides which film is to be screened for public viewing and with what cuts and in such a situation no one should create his own authority for it", the Nationalist Congress Party supremo and Agriculture minister said reacting to the rebuff to the "so called agitation" by the Shiv Sena in Mumbai against the Shah Rukh Khan starrer.

Asserting that any such attempts to play the role of such an authority should be resisted, he said that the "failure" of the "so called agitation" against the film showed that the citizens of Mumbai including Marathi people neither participated in it, nor backed it.

Pawar, whose party is part of the Congress-led coalition government in Maharashtra and in charge of Home portfolio, also complimented the owners of the cinema theatres screening the film. Trying to put at rest speculation of him possibly warming up to Bal Thackeray when he met the Sena chief on Sunday, Pawar said he had gone there to persuade him against taking any step that would harm the interest of cricket and cricket lovers in India.

"After the attack on the Sri Lankan players in Pakistan, the cause of cricket in that country has suffered tremendously as no one from outside now want to play there. I wanted to avert that situation in India," Pawar said adding "there was no any other agenda and not at all any politics behind it".

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