Mumbai, Dec 13: Congress launched scathing attack on Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis led BJP government in Maharashtra over actor Shah Rukh Khan’s meeting with MNS chief Raj Thackeray. Mumbai Congress president Sanjay Nirupam asked Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to clear Raj Thackeray is running a “parallel government” in Maharashtra. Congress’ dig came after Shah Rukh Khan met Raj Thackeray and assured that Pakistani actress Mahira Khan will not promote the upcoming release of “Raees” in India.

“(Actor) Shah Rukh Khan meets Raj seeking permission for release of his film “Raees”. Who is Raj Thackeray that film makers and artists are seeking his permission rather than that of the Censor board?…Is Raj Thackeray running a parallel government? Fadnavis should clarify,” Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam said. “Ensuring smooth release of a film and maintenance of law and order is the job of the state government. Currently some people are indulging in extortion in the guise of patriotism,” Nirupam added.

“The state government is supporting such elements and Fadnavis is deliberately creating fear about Raj Thackeray in the minds of citizens,” the Congress leader said. The earlier Congress-led government in Maharashtra had ensured a smooth release of Shah Rukh Khan’s film “My Name Is Khan” when Shiv Sena threatened to disrupt its screenings, Nirupam pointed out.

In October, MNS, which is opposed to Pakistani artistes, had staged high-voltage protests against the release of Karan Johar’s “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil” for featuring Pakistani actor Fawad Khan. But, they later withdrew it after assurances from the film fraternity following ‘mediation’ by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.