The Central government should not have staked the reputations of such personalities as Lata Mangeshkar and Sachin Tendulkar by asking them to tweet in its support in the matter of the farmers' agitation, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray has said.
The matter was something related to the government and not the nation as such, Mr Thackeray said, referring to the row sparked by a bunch of tweets posted a few days ago by the cricketing and playback singing legends, along with several top personalities from various fields such as cricketer Virat Kohli, actor Akshay Kumar, and badminton star Saina Nehwal.
"These are all big personalities. Asking them to tweet, and use hashtags...the government should not have staked their reputations," Mr Thackeray told reporters in Mumbai yesterday referring specifically to Mr Tendulkar and Ms Mangeshkar.
"The matter is something related to the government and not the nation. It's not as if the nation is facing danger from China or Pakistan," he said.
The tweets by the icons were apparently in response to comments passed on the microblogging site by US pop artiste Rihanna, former adult film actress Mia Khalifa, and climate activist Greta Thunberg, criticising the Indian government over the alleged mishandling of the ongoing farmer protest.
The pushback tweets seemed to part of a planned exercise, especially after the Centre's caustic statement warning foreign celebrities against commenting on India's domestic issues.
"The government should have stuck to folks like Akshay Kumar. Lata Mangeshkar and Sachin Tendulkar are Bharat Ratnas. They are simple people. The government asked them to tweet, so they did that and now they are being trolled," Mr Thackeray said.