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‘Padmaavat’ row: BJP politicised for poll gains, says Ashok Gehlot

The controversy over the Sanjay Leela Bhansali film could have been averted had the Centre tried settling issues with the parties concerned, he said.

jaipur Updated: Jan 23, 2018 21:45 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Jaipur
Padmaavat,Padmaavat row,Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Actor Deepika Padukone visits Siddhivinayak Temple ahead of nationwide release of ‘Padmaavat’, the film in which she plays the central character. (AFP)

Former Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot Tuesday accused the BJP of politicising the ‘Padmaavat’ row for electoral benefits in the Gujarat polls and said the work of an artist should be honoured while ensuring that it does not hurt sentiments of any section of the society.

The controversy over the Sanjay Leela Bhansali film could have been averted if the Centre tried settling issues with the parties concerned, the former chief minister told reporters in Behror town of Alwar district.

“The ban on the movie was evoked by the BJP ruled state governments one by one during Assembly elections in Gujarat. The issue was deliberately twisted due to which (the state) government had to move the Supreme Court,” he said.

“I believe that the controversy could have been laid to rest within a week, if the Centre had taken steps.”

The senior Congress leader accused BJP of dividing castes in elections. “Be it Gujarat elections or bypolls in Rajasthan, the BJP is preparing a chart of castes.

They are misleading people, inciting them to garner votes,” he claimed.

Rajasthan Congress spokesperson Pratap Singh Khachariawas, meanwhile, said BJP mishandled the ‘Padmaavat’ issue and created a mess in the state. “BJP is solely responsible for the situation. If it had taken corrective measures when people were agitating peacefully against the making of film, it wouldn’t have led to this situation,” said Khachariawas.

He, however, said that the Congress wants “the government to take measures without hurting anyone.”

First Published: Jan 23, 2018 21:45 IST