Nana Patekar on Raj Thackeray jibe: MNS has definitely lost one vote, mine
At the National Defence Academy for its 133rd passing-out parade, actor Nana Patekar remarks on MNS chief Raj Thackeray's attack on him for speaking up in favour of hawkers
"Everyone has the right to their opinion, including Raj Thackeray. But, while he may not have lost anything personally by attacking me, his MNS has surely lost one vote - mine," said Bollywood actor Nana Patekar, who was in Pune at the National Defence Academy (NDA) for its 133rd passing-out parade. Raj had recently slammed Patekar, who had criticised the former's action on hawkers in Mumbai.
Nana Patekar with dignitaries at the passing-out parade at NDA in Khadakvasla
Patekar, who often gives motivational talks to NDA cadets, said, "After witnessing a disciplined parade, I can say that our future is in safe hands. Sometimes, I get bogged down by all the negativity and vitriol around me. But when I come to NDA, I am full of positive energy. The cadets fill me with hope. More people should encourage their children to join the armed forces. I believe, before graduating, students all over the country should complete one year of military training." When asked about less number of youths from Maharashtra in NDA, he added, "We should have faith in the cadets here. The problem is not only at the borders. We are fighting amongst ourselves, and politicians are inciting us."
Politics at play
On the back and forth with Raj, Patekar added, "The civic body should allocate a place to hawkers. If they flout norms even after that, then action can be taken against them." Patekar had said earlier that street vendors were not at fault and that they were only "working to satiate their hunger and for their livelihood". To this, Raj had said the actor should not get into issues he doesn't know anything about. "If Patekar thinks it was the government's job to take care of street vendors, why did he start his foundation to solve Maharashtra's water problem? It was the government's job... Why didn't he ask the government to do its job?" the MNS chief had said. Patekar also gave his view on the ongoing Padmavati row, saying, "First, the movie should be watched and then a call taken on it. Threatening violence is not going to solve the problem."
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Ready for action
Yesterday, 250 cadets graduated from the academy at the function held at the Khetrapal parade ground. There were 152 cadets from the Army, 27 from the Navy and 71 from the Air Force. A masterly display of drill movements synchronised with the accompanying band was put on for the thousands in the audience, which included proud parents, friends and relatives of cadets, as well as people who had come from Pune and other places.