Veteran actress Shabana Azmi has slammed Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis for allegedly facilitating the extortion of money from Bollywood producers.

Shabana expressed her views on Twitter on Sunday, accusing him of “buying” patriotism.

“What a sorry state of affairs! CM brokers deal and buys patriotism for Rs 5 crore! After Home Minister had promised peaceful passage for ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil‘ (ADHM). CM Fadnavis shows scant respect for Home Minister’s assurance of safe passage for ADHM. BJP better haul him up and demand explanation,” she posted.

Filmmaker Karan Johar received a major breather when the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) on Saturday allowed the release of “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil” but with a condition.

All the producers who employed Pakistani artists, must pay Rs 5 crore each into the Indian Army’s welfare fund as atonement. Distributors and cinema owners have also come forward in support of the film.

The MNS decision followed Fadnavis’ direct intervention in the matter after Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh visited Mumbai and met representatives of Bollywood.

Fadnavis had convened a meeting on Saturday which was attended by MNS President Raj Thackeray, Karan and Film and Television Producers Guild of India’s President Mukesh Bhatt, among others at his official residence, Varsha, to resolve the imbroglio.

“Ae Dil Hai Mushkil” has been in the news for featuring Pakistani actor Fawad Khan.

Thackeray said henceforth, all Pakistani artistes, including actors, singers and directors shall be permanently banned from Bollywood.

Shabana also posted: “Sangh Parivar speaks in different voices most blatant expression is CM Maharashtra brokering deal with MNS instead of enforcing law and order for ADHM release…MNS will decide whether I’m patriotic or not’ I bow to the Indian Constitution Raj Thackeray does not. Who’s patriotism needs questioning'”

The MNS also imposed certain conditions on the release of “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil”, including that the producers make a handsome contribution to the army welfare fund, and slides paying tribute to the brave Indian soldiers are shown before the start of the film in theatres — to which both Bhatt and Karan readily agreed.

The film, starring Ranbir Kapoor, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Anushka Sharma, will release on October 28.

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