Mumbai: The controversy over a demand that Lata Mangeshkar be stripped of the Bharat Ratna for praising Bharatiya Janata Party' prime ministerial candidate and Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi hit a new low on Thursday with Mumbai Congressman Nitesh Rane reminding the singer should thank Maharashtra for her legacy.
Echoing the stand taken by Mumbai Congress Chief, Janardan Chandurkar, Rane said Mangeshkar should reconsider her support for Modi. "Lata Mangeshkar wouldn't have been what she is without Maharashtra. This state has given her everything," he said.
The Congress leader said that Maharashtrians are really hurt by her statements praising Modi, who belongs to Gujarat. "She should reconsider her support to the man who just talks about Gujarat. Maharashtrians are hurt by her statement as they have been idolised her and feel that she have ignored the fact that this state has given her everything," Rane added.
Meanwhile, Chandurkar has defended his remarks that artists who endorse politicians be stripped of their Padma awards. The Congress leader, however, clarified that he wasn't targetting Mangeshkar for endorsing Modi.
"I did not mention Lata Mangeshkar at all. I did not take Lata's name, words have been put in my mouth. My comments have been distorted. This controversy has been created by the media. I have the highest respect for Lata Mangeshkar," Chandurkar said in an interview to IBN editor-in-chief Rajdeep Sardesai.
The BJP had used the issue to target the Congress party.
"Does Lata Mangeshkar not have the right to her own opinions? Does that mean you ask for her Bharat Ratna to be stripped? In the last 10 years, the government has awarded only those who have actively abused the state of Gujarat," said Modi.