"There was joy everywhere when the government announced a prime-time slot for Marathi films. But after the multiplex owners met Vinod Tawde the next day, a pall of gloom has descended on Marathi producers," said the editorial in the Sena mouthpiece 'Saamana'.

"Marathi films should get a reserved slot at multiplexes according to their choice in Maharashtra's capital, but multiplex owners do not agree with this, which makes it necessary for the government to intervene," it said.

It asked if the multiplex owners would be able to treat the regional cinema in this way in West Bengal or in the southern states.

"Tawde should have dealt strongly with multiplex owners and put across the government's viewpoint. If the government does not want further politics on this, it needs to stop dilly-dallying and promote the cause of Marathi-speakers," it added.

The BJP-led government earlier this month came out with a directive that multiplexes must screen at least one Marathi film in the prime-time slot in the evening. The directive became controversial.

Later, after discussions with the multiplex owners, the government decided to redefine the prime-time for screening Marathi films and consider three slots — 12 to 3 pm, 3 to 6 pm and 6 to 9 pm — for the shows.

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