Congress on Sunday demanded the dismissal of Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis over the ‘Ae Dil hai Mushkil’ row, alleging that he had helped in “extortion” from the film industry. The party’s reaction came after Bollywood film producers announced that they will not engage with Pakistani artistes and will contribute Rs 5 crore to the Army welfare fund as demanded by Raj Thackeray-led MNS following a meeting withn Fadnavis that cleared the decks for the smooth release of Karan Johar’s film.
MNS had earlier threatened to disrupt the screening of the film as it had Pakistani artistes.
Terming the development as shocking, Congress spokesman Tom Vadakkan told reporters that whether such “extortion” can be done by “blackmailing” the film industry.
“The Chief Minister, who should protect the film industry, himself presided over a meeting with the MNS chief in which the controversial deal was struck.
“What kind of Chief Minister he is. Is rule of law relevant in Maharashtra? Where is rule of law in the country? The Cinematography Act should be burnt,” he said angrily.
He warned that “today such a thing has happened in Mumbai, tomorrow it could take place in Chennai and then in Kerala”.
Taking a swipe at the Prime Minister, he said Narendra Modi “talks much about surgical strikes and so he should do surgery on Fadnavis by dismissing him”.
Party’s chief spokesman Randeep Surjewala also hit out Fadnavis.
“CM Fadnavis has demeaned his office & disregarded Constitution by playing vendor to diktats of MNS. Democracy shrugged for a BMC election deal,” he said in a series of tweets.
He alleged that “self styled goons, compliant film makers bartering freedom of expression brokered by BJP’s Mah. CM would now be India’s new Censor Board.”
Earlier, he had wondered on the micro-blogging site as to “Why would our proud Indian Army accept donations forced by MNS goons from subservient filmmakers with profit motive?”
The movie had been embroiled in a controversy over the past few weeks after the MNS opposed the screening of movies featuring Pakistani actors after the Uri terror attack, putting a question mark on the fate of movie, slated for Diwali release on October 28.
The movie features Pakistani actor Fawad Khan.