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Padmavati row: Bhansali as guilty as those issuing death threats, says Yogi Adityanath

The UP government has already said it will not allow the movie’s release till certain “controversial portions” are removed.

Padmavati Row Updated: Nov 21, 2017 18:06 IST
Abdul Jadid
Abdul Jadid
Press Trust of India, Gorakhpur
Padmavati,Yogi Adityanath,Sanjay Leela Bhansali
UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath at a meeting for municipal corporation elections in Lucknow on Sunday. (PTI)

Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath said on Tuesday Padmavati’s director Sanjay Leela Bhansali is as guilty as those issuing death threats to actors and others involved in the film and asserted that if there is any action, “it will be against both the sides”. (LIVE updates)

“He (Bhansali) is habitual of playing with people’s sentiments. I feel if those who are issuing threats are guilty, action should also be taken against the filmmaker,” Adityanath told reporters at Gorakhnath Temple in Gorakhpur.

“No one has the right to take the law into own hands whether it is Sanjay Leela Bhansali or anyone else,” he added.

Protests against the Rs 150-crore movie has been mounting as Rajput organisations have alleged that it distorts history and depicts an “amorous relationship” between legendary Rajput queen Padmini – portrayed by Padukone – and Delhi Sultan Alauddin Khilji – played by Ranveer Singh. The filmmakers have denied the charges on several occasions.

The movie is based on a 16th-century epic poem, Padmavat, about the Rajput queen who chose to kill herself rather than be captured by Khilji. Historians, however, are divided over whether the queen even existed.

The chief minister said no one had the right to take laws in their hands when asked to comment about a senior leader of his Bharatiya Janata Party who offered a Rs 10-crore reward for anyone who beheaded Padukone and Bhansali.

“People should refrain from making such remarks and maintain harmony,” he added.

Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, both ruled by the BJP, have asked for cuts in the film to remove “objectionable” parts that hurt the sentiments of the Rajputs. Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan also said on Monday the film will not be allowed to be screened in the state if historical facts are “distorted”.

“We have already made our stand clear by writing to the censor board. The Supreme Court has also clarified the situation. Ministry of information and broadcasting has also been informed about the objections. We will not allow anyone to hurt the sentiments of 22 crore people of Uttar Pradesh,” he said.

The Supreme Court on Monday refused to stay Padmavati’s release, saying the movie is yet to get the censor board’s clearance. According to a three-judge bench led by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, the court could not stop a statutory body such as the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) from carrying out its duty.

The censor board returned the film to the producers, saying the application form was “incomplete”.

The movie was due to open on December 1 but its producers postponed the release amid violent protests and death threats.

First Published: Nov 21, 2017 15:09 IST