Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut has been at the center of media attention and controversies since the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput. However, what started as an attack on Bollywood, has now turned into a political turmoil with the Shiv Sena-led Maharashtra government. Earlier his month, Ranaut compared Mumbai with Pakistan-occupied Kashmir following which the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) demolished parts of her Bandra office.
In a recent interview with Navika Kumar on Times Now, Ranaut claimed that she was “forced” to vote for Shiv Sena due to the party’s alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). “I am a BJP supporter, why should I vote for Shiv Sena?” she recalled her experience voting from Bandra. “See I don’t understand politics, I am very naive. I don’t know why these groupisms happen but I was forced to put my hand on Shiv Sena button because there was no option of BJP. Their alliance for those areas was only and only Shiv Sena so I voted for them and this is the treatment I am getting.”
I voted for Sena though I support BJP. But I was ‘forced’ to vote due to their alliance: Kangana Ranaut (@KanganaTeam), Actor tells Navika Kumar on #FranklySpeakingWithKangana. pic.twitter.com/XlFh0ngmxI
— TIMES NOW (@TimesNow) September 16, 2020
India Today deputy editor Kamlesh Sutar pointed some factual discrepancies in Ranaut’s claim. “As per CEO Maharashtra data, Kangana Ranaut is a voter of Bandra west seat. Ashish Shelar of BJP was Sena-BJP candidate here in 2019. In Loksabha again Poonam Mahajan of the BJP fought and won.”
I see some factual error here. @KanganaTeam says she ws forcd to vote for Shivsena. As per @CEO_Maharashtra data, @KanganaTeam is a voter of Bandra west seat. Ashish Shelar of BJP was Sena-BJP candidate here in 2019. In Loksabha agn Poonam Mahajan of the BJP fought n won. https://t.co/to48IJgUtD pic.twitter.com/56OrytAWyd
— Kamlesh Sutar (@kamleshsutar) September 16, 2020
In response to Sutar’s tweet, Ranaut accused him of spreading “naughty lies” and threatened him with legal consequences. “I am clearly talking about Lok Sabha elections but he is deliberately talking about Vidhan Sabha elections,” she wrote.
However, as pointed out by Sutar, Ranaut’s claim that she was “forced” to vote for Shiv Sena cannot be true. The candidates for constituencies in which Kangana Ranaut is registered to vote during both Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha elections belonged to BJP, with BJP-Shiv Sena contesting the elections as an alliance.
Lok Sabha elections
In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Ranaut cast her vote at a polling booth in Khar.
— ANI (@ANI) April 29, 2019
Khar is in Mumbai Suburban district which is a part of Vandre (Bandra) West assembly constituency under Mumbai North Central Lok Sabha constituency. Readers can self-verify the same on the website of the Chief Electoral Officer, Maharashtra under ‘General Information>List of Polling Stations’.
Poonam Mahajan of the BJP was the BJP-Shiv Sena candidate who came out victorious from Mumbai North Central.
#VotingRound4 | Poonam Mahajan, BJP MP Candidate from Mumbai North Central, cast her vote in #Phase4 in Worli, Mumbai.#ElectionsWithMC Updates: https://t.co/DbWDel6ja2 | #Elections2019 pic.twitter.com/w8S3MXh3YZ
— moneycontrol (@moneycontrolcom) April 29, 2019
Therefore, Ranaut’s claim that she was ‘forced’ to vote for a Shiv Sena candidate in Lok Sabha election due to the party’s alliance with the BJP cannot be true.
Vidhan Sabha elections
According to an Amar Ujala report, Ranaut was not in Mumbai at the time of the assembly elections in October 2019. Had she cast her vote, it would have been for a BJP politician. BJP’s Ashish Shelar was the BJP-Shiv Sena candidate from Bandra West assembly constituency and he also won the seat.
Kangana Ranaut made false claims on national television and then again on social media. When she was called out for the same, the actor threatened journalist Kamlesh Sutar with legal consequences. Mumbai Press Club condemned Ranaut’s statement and wrote, “Celebrities, Politicians & their workers, pls do not intimidate journalists.” Ranaut later took down her tweets.
The Mumbai Press Club takes serious cognisance and condemns the threat by @kanganateam against journalist/Club member @kamleshsutar. Celebrities, Politicians & their workers, pls do not intimidate journalists. @MumbaiPressClub strongly backs the fraternity. pic.twitter.com/T6Xf1kPWED
— Mumbai Press Club (@mumbaipressclub) September 18, 2020