The 29-year-old actor, a resident of Pune, has had a penchant for making controversial statements and has had brushes with the law for such statements on social media. She is also known to post videos of her confrontations with people.
The actor, who claims to suffer from epilepsy, also projects herself as an activist raising awareness about epilepsy with her Instagram handle epilepsy_warrior_queen.
She has acted in a few Marathi and Hindi tele serials.
Chitale had drawn the ire of Maratha activists last year when she had made a reference to Maratha warrior king Chhatrapati Shivaji in a social media post. Maratha activists had felt that she was being disrespectful.
In March 2020, she had made a post commenting on Muslims, Parsis, Jains, Christians and Buddhists. She had mentioned that on December 6, every year, Buddhists travel for free to Mumbai, following which a case was filed against her by the Rabale police under the atrocities Act.
On Saturday, top leaders cutting across party lines condemned Chitale’s post against Pawar.
NCP leader and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar said the actor needed treatment. “She needs good treatment in a good hospital for her mental illness.”
He added, “Maharashtra is a cultured state. One might have different viewpoints, there might be differences of opinion but no one should stoop so low in their criticism… Maharashtra does not have a such tradition.”
“The NCP women’s wing will give a nice thrashing to the actor. She has stooped very low and badly needs a thrashing,” NCP leader Rupali Thombre added.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, during his rally in Mumbai, castigated the actor. “Who are you to criticise the NCP chief ? …She seems to be someone from the fake Hindutva camp.”
BJP leader and former CM Devendra Fadnavis sought action against the actor. “The comment is unwarranted and highly derogatory for a senior leader like the NCP chief. There should be action against her… the law should take its own course.”
BJP leader and Union Minister Raosaheb Danve, too, said, “Pawar saheb is a senior leader. We don’t agree with the post and we don’t support such use of langauge.”
Shiv Sena spokesperson Sanjay Raut said, “Sharad Pawar is like a Himalaya… Such posts would not affect him… We condemn the post. We should ignore such tendencies who indulge in such cheap gimmicks.”
Independent MP Navneet Rana, currently in a row with the state government over reciting Hanuman Chalisa outiside Thackeray’s Mumbai residence, described Sharad Pawar as a father figure. “I condemn the post against him. Ketaki Chitale should apologise.”
Rupali Chakankar, president of the State Women’s Commission, too, condemned the post. “The language used by the actor is highly derogatory. Coming as it does from a woman, it is more shocking and condemnable. The police should initiate appropriate action.”