Mumbai, Sep 9: Popular stand-up comedian Kapil Sharma today stoked a controversy by alleging that he had been asked to pay a bribe of Rs 5 lakh by an official of the civic body BMC which, in turn, claimed that the actor had carried out "illegal construction" at his office for which a notice had been served on him two months back.
Kapil levelled the allegation in the morning in tweets in which he tagged Prime Minister Narendra Modi, questioning if this was the "achche din" (good days) he had promised.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis was quick to respond to Sharma's angst and assured him that strict action would be taken against the culprit.
Kapil, while voicing his anger, tweeted: "I am paying 15 cr income tax from last 5 year n still i have to pay 5 lacs bribe to BMC office for making my office @narendramodi (sic)."
In another tweet, he wrote, "Yeh hain aapke achhe din? @narendramodi (are these your good days)," referring to Modi's 2014 poll slogan of "good days are ahead".
The post of Sharma, who has over 6.22 million followers on Twitter, was 'retweeted' and 'liked' by thousands on the social media platform. Fadnavis, BMC as well as Shiv Sena, which rules the civic body along with BJP, asked Kapil to give details about who demanded the bribe. Opposition Congress used the issue to target BJP and Shiv Sena over corruption.
As controversy erupted, Sharma again tweeted later in the day, trying to downplay the matter by saying he was not singling out any political party. "I just voiced my concern on the corruption I faced with certain individuals... It's No blame on any political party be it BJP, MNS or ShivSena," he wrote.
Earlier, taking cognisance of the matter, Fadnavis asked Kapil to provide the authorities with necessary information to punish the culprit. "Kapilbhai pls provide all info. Have directed MC, BMC to take strictest action. We will not spare the culprit," the Chief Minister said in a tweet.
In response, Kapil thanked Fadnavis in another tweet saying, "@Dev_Fadnavis thank u so much for ur concern sir.. Would like to come n discuss this matter with u in person .." However, a senior Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation official claimed that the actor had made some "illegal construction" at his office in Versova area of suburban Mumbai and had been served a notice regarding the same, but he did not pay heed to it.
"Kapil was then sent a notice by BMC on July 16 to stop or remove the construction, but he didn't reply to it," he said. BMC also asked Kapil to reveal the name of the officer who allegedly demanded the bribe. Stung by corruption allegations, Shiv Sena, which rules the BMC along with BJP, dared Kapil to name the bribe seeker.
"This is not a comedy show where he can tweet what is going on in his life. He needs to immediately name the person publicly who asked for a bribe or people would watch the whole episode like a comedy drama, laugh over it and forget about it," Sena spokesperson Manisha Kayande said.