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Anticipating ‘distortion of history’, BJP demands stay on Padmavati release till Gujarat polls

The ruling party feels the film could potentially create tension ahead of the Gujarat elections next month. 

Our Correspondent

In what could spell trouble for director Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmavati, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has written to the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) and the Election Commission of India (ECI) to stay the release of the film. 

The party has alleged that the film hurts the sentiments of the Kshatriya and Rajput communities and twists history by linking queen Padmavati with the mughal ruler Alauddin Khilji. 

BJP spokesperson, IK Jadeja, believes that such alleged distortion could create tensions ahead of the Gujarat polls in December. “We have received representations from the Kshatriya community opposing any purported distortion of history and character of Rani Padmavati in the movie. History says that Padmavati never met Alauddin Khilji. Any distortion in the movie which hurts sentiments of Rajput and Kshatriya communities should be avoided as Gujarat is going to polls in December,” he said in an official statement. 

Starring Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor, Padmavati is scheduled to be released on 1 December while the Gujarati election will commence from 9 December. 

Jadeja added, “We are writing to the ECI, CBFC and the Centre, seeking to stop the film’s release for a temporary period till the issue is resolved.” 

Surprisingly, this comes just weeks after Smriti Irani, the information and broadcasting minister assuring a smooth release for the film. 

However, BJP isn’t the only party to have issues with Padmavati. Last week, Shankarsinh Vaghela, the chief of Jan Vikalp Party, also raised eyebrows over the film’s alleged distortion of history. He demanded a film’s preview before the release. “As the movie is expected to be released on December 1, I want Bhansali to first show it to Hindu, as well as Kshatriya leaders as people suspect that some facts have been distorted and presented in a wrong way in the movie,” he said. 

But that's not all. Vaghela has also threatened violent protests if the film isn't screened before being released. "If the movie is released without pre-screening, Gujarat will witness violent protests and law and order may go out of control. I apologise to the cinema owners in advance if people take law into their hands," he added.

So far, there hasn’t been any reaction from the CBFC, ECI or the makers of Padmavati over the recent developments.