Maharashtra Speaker rejects privilege motion against Shobhaa De over Marathi film diktat tweets

In a relief for Shobhaa De, Maharashtra Assembly Speaker has rejected a privilege motion against the author for her remarks against mandatory screening of Marathi films in mulitplexes that had drawn the ire of Shiv Sena.

An official from the state Legislature said Assembly Speaker Haribhau Bagde found no relevance of De's comments with the proceedings of the House, and thus decided to reject the motion for which Shiv Sena MLA Pratap Sarnaik had given a notice in April.

Sarnaik, however, said his party will continue to oppose those who insult the sentiments of Marathi-speaking people.

De's tweets against the the Maharshtra's government's decisiom to make it mandatory for multiplexes across the state to screen Marathi films during the prime time slot between 6 and 9 pm had sparked a major row.

Shiv Sena, a key-partner in the Devendra Fadnavis Government, had come out strongly against De's sarcastic remarks that "dahi misal" and "vada pav" will replace "pop corn" in multiplexes in Mumbai, arguing it amounted to heaping insult on the Marathi-speaking people.

The legislature officials today said, "The motion has no relevance as far as the privilege matter is concerned, because Shobhaa De's remarks are not concerned with the proceedings of the House.

"Basically, a privilege motion is contempt (of House proceedings). The criteria is that the matter should relate to the proceedings of the House," the official said.

"De's remarks are not at all concerned with the proceedings of the House. Taking into consideration the constitutional position and norms of Parliamentary practices and procedures, the Speaker rejected the motion," he said.

Sarnaik, who had moved the breach of privilege motion through point of propriety, said he will decide the future course of action after reading the Speaker's decision in detail.

"Most of the privilege motions are not accepted. But, we have the right to move motions. After that, it is upto the Speaker to accept or reject it. Even if the Speaker has rejected the motion, I and my party's position is clear, we will continue to oppose those who insult the sentiments of Marathi-speaking people," Sarnaik said.

The socialite-columnist had also dubbed the decision as nothing but hooliganism. "I love Marathi movies. Let me decide when and where to watch them, Devendra Fadnavis. This is nothing but Dadagiri," she commented.

"No more pop corn at multiplexes in Mumbai? Dahi misal and vada pav only. To go better with the Marathi movies at prime time."

The columnist also tweeted, "Devendra 'Diktatwala' Fadnavis is at it again!!! From beef to movies. This is not the Maharashtra we all love! Nako!Nako! Yeh sab roko!"

Irked Sena workers had also staged protested outside De's house in South Mumbai against her remarks serving 'vada pav' to people who gathered at the spot.

She later moved the Supreme Court against the notice issued by the Assembly Speaker.

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