New Delhi: Congress on Thursday flayed Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), accusing it of being silent on the entire controversy surrounding Bollywood film Padmaavat. The party said the Centre and BJP-ruled states have failed to protect law and order, and have given a free hand to fringe groups like Karni Sena to resort to violent protest.
Speaking to members of the press, Congress spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi slammed BJP government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi for being mute spectators. "Why is the government in New Delhi and the state governments where BJP is in power not acting against miscreants? PM Modi is silent as well. What should we infer from this," she asked. "BJP should be ashamed for playing politics over the entire issue," she said.
(In pics: India burns, for a movie based on fiction)
Another party spokesperson in Randeep Surjewala highlighted the incident in which a school bus carrying children was targetted by a mob in Gurugram on Wednesday. "The incident, in particular, shows how the Manohar Lal Khattar's government in Haryana and even governments in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan have been exposed for their ineffectiveness. That or they are just unwilling to act for political reasons," he said.
The protests across India against the Sanjay Leela Bhansali film has been spearheaded by Karni Sena - an organisation which was hardly known outside pockets of Rajasthan before the entire row erupted. They have been demanding that the film be banned and despite an all-clear from Supreme Court and Central Board of Film Certification, continue to resort to arson, vandalism and violence.
The Supreme Court had previously directed state governments in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana and Gujarat to ensure law and order is preserved but that has come apart at the seams. On Thursday, the top court agreed to hear a contempt plea against the four states.
While the state governments have been facing the heat, BJP government in New Delhi too is now being questioned by many for not making any statements and not taking effective counter-measures. And while the Congress may be looking at making the most at BJP's expense, its own party leaders have not been far from making controversial statements with Digvijay Singh saying that films which hurt sentiments should not be made at all.