Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan refused to ban Prakash Jhas Aarakshan,which is scheduled for release on Friday. But he asked the Law and Judiciary Department to examine whether there was anything in it that called for a ban.
The issue was raised in the Cabinet meeting on Thursday by Congress ministers Varsha Gaikwad,Naseem Khan,Nitin Raut who had met the CM on Wednesday to submit a letter seeking a ban on the film,claiming it will create a rift between the pro-reservation and anti-reservation groups and NCP minister Ganesh Naik.
When they reiterated their request in the Cabinet meeting,Home Minister R R Patil said it was not possible to ban the film as the High Court had already rejected a petition seeking to ban it on grounds that it will create law and order problems.
The agitated ministers then pointed out that the Punjab and UP governments had banned it and even the Maharashtra government can do it. Chavan said a special preview was organised on Tuesday night and those who had seen the movie said there was nothing worth banning.
As the Congress ministers stepped up pressure,OBC leader and PWD minister Chhagan Bhujbal whose Akhil Bharatiya Mahatma Phule Samata Parishad had vandalised posters of the film fearing it was against reservation found himself in an embarrassing position. He was among those who had watched the special screening of the film.
On Wednesday,Bhujbal declared that his misunderstanding about the film had been cleared and he will not oppose its exhibition. He went on the defensive in the Cabinet as the Congress ministers,including Gaikwad who had seen the film with him,claimed the film had objectionable scenes and dialogues. Bhujbal said Jha had agreed to take care of the few dialogues and scenes termed objectionable.