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  Metros   Mumbai  24 Nov 2017  CM Fadnavis in bind over Padmavati

CM Fadnavis in bind over Padmavati

THE ASIAN AGE. | UMAKANT DESHPANDE
Published : Nov 24, 2017, 2:21 am IST
Updated : Nov 24, 2017, 2:21 am IST

Unlike other BJP-ruled states’ leaders, he’s silent on ban.

Members of the Rajput community during a protest at Azad Maidan against the film.
 Members of the Rajput community during a protest at Azad Maidan against the film.

Mumbai: The controversy surrounding Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s historical epic Padmavati has put chief minister Devendra Fadnavis in a bind. Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat, where the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is in power, will ban the film’s release if parts that have been deemed objectionable are not excised. Mr Fadnavis, however, has not taken any decision and is awaiting the final decision of the Central Board Of Film Certification (CBFC), highly placed sources in the government said.

Apart from Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje, Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani, who declared that the film’s uncensored release would not be allowed in their respective states as it could lead to law-and-order situations, BJP MLA Mangal Prabhat Lodha has written a letter to Mr Fadnavis asking that the film be banned in Maharashtra. BJP MLA Raj Purohit has also sent a letter to Union information and broadcasting minister Smriti Irani in this regard.

Stating that the film would hurt the sentiments of the Rajasthani and Marwari community, Mr Lodha said, “There are a few controversial scenes about Rani Padmavati and a dance (sequence) also.”

Mr Purohit said the film depicted history inaccurately, which ‘couldn’t be allowed under the freedom of expression and art’.  

Explaining the CM’s dilemma, sources from his office said, if the censor board clears the film and the state imposes a ban, the producer or director might approach the court and put the government in a fix. The censor board is an independent apex body of experts that certifies films and the state government can’t appeal to verify its decision. “Maharashtra is a progressive state and the film industry is based in Mumbai. A ban on any film for political reasons or due to public sentiments may elicit negative reaction in the film industry. So, Mr Fadnavis will await the CBFC’s decision,” the source said.

Meanwhile, Mr Bhansali met Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackray recently. The BJp ally said its leaders would first watch the movie and then decide its stand over the issue. “Those who are opposing the film should first watch it, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut told The Asian Age.

Stating that Mr Fadnavis should not blindly follow the decisions of BJP-ruled states’ chief ministers, former chief minister Prithviraj Chouhan said he should discuss the with the film industry stalwarts find a way out.

Tags: sanjay leela bhansali, devendra fadnavis, padmavati controversy