The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is seeking a delay in the release of director Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s epic historical film Padmavati, citing hurt sentiments of the Kshatriya community, and to ‘alleviate tensions’ ahead of the Gujarat elections. BJP state vice-president and Kshatriya leader IK Jadeja said on Wednesday that the party wrote to the Election Commission, the Central Board of Film Certification and the Centre seeking to stop the film’s release.
“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,” he said, according to reports.
The issue of contention is an alleged plot point in the film, which depicts a romantic angle between Padmavati (played by Deepika Padukone) and Alaudin Khilji (played by Ranveer Singh). The party, and the Kshatriya community, have voiced their dissatisfaction with this portrayal, citing its factual inaccuracy. Bhansali and the film’s team have said on numerous occasions that no such romantic angle has been portrayed in the film.Padmavati has been on the receiving end of numerous violent protests in the past, which left its sets burned down, its director assaulted, and its release date rumoured to have been postponed.
This comes days after Gujarat politician Shankersinh Vaghela announced his desire to view the film in advance of its scheduled December 1 release. The BJP expressed a similar demand. Jadeja said that the party would like the Election Commission “to arrange for a pre-release viewing of the film by select Rajput representatives to alleviate their raised tempers and provide fair opportunity to prevent unnecessary tension ahead of polls”.Gujarat will hold elections on December 9 and 14. Manubhai Patel, president of Multiplex Owners’ Association – Gujarat (MOAG), that he has received a letter from Shree Rashtriya Rajput Karni Sena. “There is still a month to the release of the film and such disputes are usually resolved. However, we don’t know what the outcome will be considering the upcoming elections in the state.”