Multiplex tweet row: AAP backs Shobha De, says she can speak her mind

Mumbai, Apr 9: Amid a row over Maharashtra government's move to reserve prime time slots in multiplexes for screening of Marathi movies, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) today came out in support of noted columnist Shobhaa De who has raised hackles of Shiv Sena by criticising the proposal.

"Marathi culture needs encouragement. We have a pool of classic Marathi actors, filmmakers, theatres which are not exploited commercially...Government should support this (Marathi film) industry by giving them incentives such as tax benefit, creating government facilities for their broadcast," said AAP national spokesperson Preeti Sharma Menon.

She said government cannot tell private enterprises how to run their affairs. De has invited wrath of ruling Sena over her tweet in which she slammed government for its directive asking private multiplexes to screen Marathi films in prime time slots between 6-9 PM.

Taking a dig at government, Menon said, "Today, you are telling multiplex owners to screen a particular movie at a particular time, tomorrow you would ask hoteliers to offer (only) Marathi cuisine and then you would issue a diktat asking cloth merchants to sell only Marathi saris."

As per constitution, we have the liberty to choose means to earn livelihood. She also termed as "ridiculous" the Sena's move to bring a breach of privilege motion against De in the Legislative Assembly.

"We believe people should not be prosecuted for (expressing) their opinion and a privilege motion is ridiculous," she added.

In her tweet against government's order on screening of Marathi movies, De had remarked that popcorns will now be replaced by 'dahi misal' and 'vada pav' in multiplexes.

Irked by this, Sena has accused her of 'demeaning" the Marathi culture and yesterday sought to move a breach of privilege motion against her.

Sena is yet to submit the notice to this effect. Incidentally, government today amended its earlier decision on reserving prime time slots for Marathi movies.

As per the fresh decision, Marathi films can be screened on any one screen in multiplexes any time between 12 noon to 9 PM, depending on the demand of the producer to the exhibitor.


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