Akhilesh Khandelwal, a ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader from Madhya Pradesh has announced a reward of Rs 10,000 to anyone who slaps ‘Padmavati’ director Sanjay Leela Bhansali with a shoe. The politician took his Facebook account for announcement of the reward.
While the Padmavati team has reiterated that the film contains no love scenes between Deepika Padukone’s character of the titular Rajput queen and Ranveer Singh’s Muslim ruler, this has not made any of the factions back down.
Khandelwal, who is the chairman of MP’s Hosangabad municipal corporation, put the bounty out for his 10000 odd Facebook followers.
Commentators were lauding the Facebook post and hailing the leader’s choice of words, with one even saying “If slaps couldn’t improve him, he will be hit by shoes.”
Later, speaking to journalists, he said that he doesn’t regret his statement. “They are trying to distort our history to show us in poor light in public. We can no more remain silent. We consider it our responsibility to rein in such forces.”
This post came after the shocking assault on the filmmaker at the Jaigarh fort, where members of the Karni Sena vandalized the Padmavati sets. Protestors alleged distortion of history, claiming that love sequence between the characters of Padmavati and Alaaudin Khilji was shot.
Many Bollywood celebrities came together to condemn the attack and even requested the state and central government to intervene in the same and to take action against the guilty.
Clearly affected by such turn of events, Bhansali Productions released an official statement saying that the shooting has been brought to a hault at Jaipur, citing the ‘safety of the crew’ as a reason.
— BhansaliProductionFC (@bhansaliprod_fc) January 28, 2017
In Mumbai, the Hindu Sena has burned effigies of the filmmaker and said that the ghastly incidents took place in Jaipur, would be repeated if the Padmavati crew shifted base to Mumbai. The group also gave an umbrella threat that extended to all of Bollywood as the film fraternity condemned the attack on Bhansali.