Maharashtra CM facilitating extortion: CPI-M

New Delhi, Oct 23 (IANS) The CPI-M on Sunday denounced Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis for allegedly facilitating the extortion of money from Bollywood producers.

“Instead of upholding the rule of the law to stop those threatening film makers, (he) has actually facilitated extortion of a reported sum of Rs 5 crore invoking the armed forces,” the CPI-M said in a statement.

“This is a gross insult to the courage, valour and the role being played by the armed forces in defence of India.

“The Chief Minister is under oath to uphold the Constitution and the rule of law. By this action, he has negated the constitutional mandate. This also creates an environment of fear to stifle freedom of expression.

“The Chief Minister and the government of Maharashtra should employ the

instruments of the State to uphold the rule of law.

“The failure to do so should be taken serious note of by the Central government in accordance with the constitutional provisions,” the Communist Party of India-Marxist added.

The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) had called upon producers who made films with Pakistani actors to cough up money for the defence forces. The announcement has come under widespread criticism.