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Raj Thackeray apologises to Nayantara Sehgal over MNS threat

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Mumbai, Jan 7: Asserting that he would ask the party cadres to not take a stance on any sensitive subject without consulting him, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) Chief Raj Thackeray on Monday expressed regret over his party activists opposing invitation to emminent writer Nayantara Sehgal to a Marathi literary meet.

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena president Raj Thackeray

Sahitya Akadami award-winning author Nayantara Sehgal was to inaugurate the 92nd edition of annual Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Sahitya Sammelan, but after threats from some MNS leaders the organisers had cancelled the invitation. MNS had opposed invitation to Sehgal on the grounds that she writes in English and has no business to be called in for a Marathi literary event.

"We do not oppose [the decision to invite] Nayantara Sehgal to the sammelan. We wholeheartedly welcome her. She must come," Thackeray said is a statement issued on Monday.

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"If an accomplished writer like Nayantara came to the festival and if she witnesses the richness of Marathi literature and becomes a vehicle for the spread of this (literature) throughout the world then me or my party has not objection to this. This is our party position and we wholeheartedly welcome her," he further said.

Thackeray also expressed regret to the inconvenience caused to the organisers of the event. "I ask my party workers to not make any statements on such sensitive issues without consulting me," he said.

MNS Vice-President Raju Umbarkar had threatened violence to stop the event from going through if Nayanatara was invited.

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