Maharastha chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said that while he believes that an artiste is an artiste, public sentiment in India is against entertaining Pakistani films and performers. In an exclusive interaction with Hindustan Times on Thursday, the CM took on questions about governance, his alliance politics and the patriotism debate.
The BJP leader said, “Personally, I think an artist is an artist but public sentiment is against entertaining Pakistani films, artists. As a government, we cannot ban any film, we have a certain responsibility… I am the custodian of the Constitution, irrespective of my feelings. And, that is the difference between Pakistan and India. We have democracy, and they don’t have it,’’ he said.
On the issue of going into the upcoming Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) polls in alliance with the Shiv Sena the chief minister said: “We are practical, the thinking in both parties is that we should go together. Uddhav Thackeray is also of the same view. In the state also we don’t have a clear mandate, we have 123 seats, they have 63 seats... Sena is not a partner out of compulsion, if it was any other party it would have been compulsion.”
While he made it clear that even if the alliance didn’t work for BMC, there would be no trouble for the state-level alliance, he said at this stage he would not like to comment on possibility of contesting elections solo.
“You look at our history of 25 years. There have been many cases where we have not partnered in local elections like Pune, Nasik and Nagpur last time but went in for alliance in Mumbai. But, I can’t talk about option of post-poll alliance for BMC now. If all goes well, we want the alliance,’’ he reiterated.
Fadnavis said that while he would not like to preach patriotism to anyone, for him as the chief minister, it was about working transparently and efficiently.
The picture with the alliance however, is not all rosy with Fadnavis unable to resist a jibe against the ally turned rival.
When asked about Sena’s continued role as opponents in successive sessions of the state legislature, he said, “If you are a ruling party and you still want to play role of opposition. That does not give good signal to public at large, that’s a loss for the party. It’s for them (Sena) to decide, we have no problem.”