A viral tweet purported to claim that Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray has come forward in support of Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut and would welcome her back to Mumbai on September 9, 2020, is false. The tweet is by an impostor account, impersonating the MNS leader.
The tweet from the fake account states that Ranaut will be given a grand welcome in Mumbai and challenges Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut to stop her if he has the courage. Click here to view the archive of the tweet.
The tweet by the impostor account reads, "This upcoming September 9 Hindu tigress Kangana Ranaut will be given a grand welcome in Maharashtra's capital Mumbai. Sanjay Raut, if you have the courage, stop and show." (Original text in Hindi: आगामी 9 तारिख को हिन्दू शेरनी कंगना रनौत का महाराष्ट्र की राजधानी मुंबई में भव्य स्वागत किया जायेगा। संजय राऊत हिम्मत हैं तो रोक के दिखाना।)
Ranaut has been critical of Bollywood, Mumbai Police and the Congress-Shiv Sena-NCP led government of Maharashtra over the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput. The tweet is viral in the backdrop of a series of tweets by Ranaut and counter statements by Maharashtra political leaders against her.
Shiv Sena MLA Pratap Sarnaik said that the actress should be booked for sedition after she likened Mumbai to Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK), while Sanjay Raut on September 1, 2020, wrote in the party's mouthpiece Saamna, that if the actress did not feel safe, she should not return to the city. Responding to Raut's statement, Ranaut who is currently in Manali tweeted that she will be returning to Mumbai on September 9, challenging if anyone can stop her.
BOOM received the screenshot of the tweet by the fake Twitter account on its WhatsApp helpline number (7700906111)
Twitter handle changed from @RealThackeray to @ThackerayOffic
On searching with the text of the tweet on Twitter, we found that the fake account had changed its handle name from @RealThackeray to @ThackerayOffic. One can see the old user handle name @realThackeray as in the screenshot below.
The tweet had garnered around 1,900 retweets at the time of writing this article, with several Twitter users assuming that it is his official account and thanked Thackeray for supporting Ranaut.
The account in its bio misleadingly claims that it is an official account of Raj Thackeray. The text reads, "Official Twitter handle Raj Thackeray". The impostor account was created in August 2020, with 7,950 followers and has five tweets, largely criticising the Shiv Sena and Sanjay Raut.
Raj Thackeray's official Twitter account
The official Twitter handle of Raj Thackeray is @RajThackeray, which is verified by Twitter. A look through his timeline, we found that the MNS chief has not tweeted anything as said in the tweet or extended support to Ranaut. Thackeray had last tweeted was on September 3, 2020.
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