Days after a Shiv Sena leader was caught on camera asking the owner of the Karachi Sweets in Mumbai to change the shop's name, triggering massive controversy, former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has said: "Karachi will one day be a part of India."
The Shiv Sena had distanced itself from party leader Nitin Nandgaokar's comments who was seen in a video - widely shared on social media- at the Mumbai shop telling the owner to change the name "to something in Marathi". Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut said Mr Nandgaokar's comment is not the party's official stance.
On Saturday, Mr Fadnavis, 50, when asked about the controversy by a reporter, said: "We are the people who believe in an 'Akhand Bharat'... We believe Karachi will one day be a part of India."
Latching on to the senior BJP leader's remarks, Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik told news agency ANI on Sunday: "The way Devendra ji has said that time will come Karachi will be the part of India.. we have been saying that India, Pakistan and Bangladesh should be merged. If the Berlin wall can fall, why can't India, Pakistan and Bangladesh come together? If BJP wishes to merge these three countries and make a single country, we will welcome it definitely."
Later, Sena's Sanjay Raut took a swipe at the Mr Fadnavis. "If Karachi comes to India, then we will welcome it. First, bring back the part of Kashmir that is occupied by Pakistan. We will go to Karachi later," Mr Raut was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
1947 के बँटवारे के बाद बड़े पैमाने में सिंध से लोग भारत में आकर बसे और उन्होंने कराची के नाम से कई दुकानें खोलीं— sohit mishra (@sohitmishra99) November 19, 2020
यह दुकान पिछले 70 साल से चल रहे है.. अब कोई मुद्दा नहीं होने पर इसे मुद्दा बनाया जा रहा है.. शिवसेना के नेता धमकी दे रहे हैं@AUThackeray isn't Mumbai a global city? pic.twitter.com/xxufeAsC2P
Nitin Nandgaokar's remarks on the shop were widely criticised on social media. In a nearly one-minute long clip, Mr Nandgaokar is heard telling the owner of Karachi Sweets: "I hate the name Karachi. The city in Pakistan is a hub of terrorists. You can name your ancestors in the banner... I pay my respects to them. You came from Pakistan but this is your home. You'll have to do it (change the name). We will help you with the business. I will give you time... change the name to something in Marathi."
However, Sanjay Raut later tweeted: "Karachi bakery and Karachi sweets have been in Mumbai since last 60 years. They have nothing to do with Pakistan. It makes no sense to ask for changing their names now. Demand for changing their name is not Shiv Sena's official stance."