Congress workers checked out two prominent hotels in Ramdaspeth to ascertain if the director was present there.
Nagpur/Mumbai: The Congress has upped the ante against director Madhur Bhandarkar’s soon-to-be-released film Indu Sarkar, allegedly based on the life of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and the Emergency era. After forcing the director to call off his interactions with the media in Pune on Saturday, it continued in much the same vein in Nagpur on Sunday, preventing the director from promoting his movie. Senior Congress leader Manikrao Thakre said the party would not “tolerate Bhandarkar’s designs.” Even in Mumbai, party workers said they would not allow the film to be released unless their concerns were addressed.
A number of Congress supporters, led by the Nagpur city president and former mayor, Vikas Thakre, staged a demonstration with placards and banners at the venue of Bhandarkar’s press meet, denouncing his movie. Party members reached the venue, a Portuguese-Goan restaurant-cum-hotel at Amba-jhari in the city and shouted slogans, threatening to stall the film’s release. A police posse was deployed at the venue and no untoward incident was reported.
Later, Mr Thakre, who was accompanied by his legal cell chief advocate Abhijit Wanjari and Umakant Agnihotri, told the media that Congress would not allow Bhandarkar to show up at press conference and there was no question of allowing the release of the controversial Hindi movie in local theatres. “We can not tolerate Bhandarkar’s design to project our former Prime Minister late Indira Gandhi in poor light. We are chasing Bhandarkar, where ever he is hiding in the city,” he said.
According to sources, Congress workers checked out two prominent hotels in Ramdaspeth to ascertain if the director was present there. Sources told The Asian Age on Sunday that Bhandarkar had left the city for Mumbai by flight.
Maharashtra Pradesh Congress spokesperson Raju Waghmare said, “We had requested him to show the movie to us before release. We have objections about few lines shown in the promo. This could have avoided if they had shown us the movie. But Mr Bhandarkar rejected it. That’s why these agitations are going on. Defaming India’s great Prime Minister will not be allowed.”
Meanwhile, Mr Bhandarkar himself spoke on the issue via microblogging site Twitter, saying “Dear @OfficeOfRG after Pune I have 2 cancel today’s PressCon at Nagpur.Do you approve of this hooliganism? Can I have my Freedom of Expression?”