The Congress party has dismissing reports of upcoming political film ‘The Accidental Prime Minister’ being banned in Madhya Pradesh.
“The news of ban on the movie ‘The Accidental Prime Minister’ by Madhya Pradesh government is wrong and misleading,” the state Public Relations Department said in a tweet.
The Congress on Friday dubbed the movie about former Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as “fake propaganda by the BJP” and asserted it will not desist from questioning the Narendra Modi government on key issues.
The yet to be released movie has already caused controversy, with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) latching on to it to hit out at the Gandhi family, while the Congress has questioned the BJP’s motive behind “promoting the film” and raised objections to the “incorrect presentation of the facts” in the film, the trailer of which was released on Thursday.
Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala, too, dismissed reports of a ban. “This is incorrect. Madhya Pradesh government has taken no such decision,” he said.
The clarifications from the Kamal Nath-led Congress government and the party came following local party leaders objecting to the “distorted portrayal” of the Gandhi family, particularly UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, and threatened to not allow its screening unless it was shown to the party before its release.
The Maharashtra Youth Congress, too, has raised similar objections and written to the film’s producers demanding a prior screening of the movie.
“If the said movie is released without prior screening for our office-bearers and without making necessary changes recommended by us that we find out after viewing the movie, it will be understood that you are doing this deliberately and we have other options open to stop the screening of the same across India,” state Youth Congress President Satyajeet Tambe Patil said in his letter to the producers.
Taking to Twitter, Surjewala slammed the movie.
“Such fake propaganda by BJP won’t desist Congress from questioning the Modi government on rural distress, rampant unemployment, demonetisation disaster, flawed GST, failed Modinomics and all pervading corruption,” he said.
“Nation wants governance, not diversion,” tweeted Surjewala in reply to the BJP’s official Twitter handle posting the trailer of the movie.
“Riveting tale of how a family held the country to ransom for 10 long years. Was Dr Singh just a regent who was holding on to the PM’s chair till the time heir was ready? Watch the official trailer of ‘The Accidental Prime Minister’, based on an insider’s account, releasing on 11 Jan,” the BJP tweeted along with the trailer.
On the other hand, Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore defended the BJP’s support for the film.
“Can’t we extend our wishes to a film? Congress has been all for freedom, why is it questioning that freedom now?” Rathore told the media outside Parliament.
Meanwhile, sources said that the Congress top leadership has asked its members and leaders to refrain from reacting to the movie in social media or public platforms.
“Manmohan Singh’s image is too big to be sullied by such cheap attempts. Why should we fall trap to BJP’s propaganda by reacting to the movie?” said one source.
Following the party’s instructions, the Maharashtra Youth Congress is likely to come down on its diktat of a pre-screening of the movie.