CPI(M) today accused Devendra Fadnavis of “facilitating extortion” after a Bollywood film starring a Pakistani actor was allowed to be released when its producers agreed to pay Rs 5 crore to army welfare fund at a meeting mediated by the Maharashtra Chief Minister.
Describing the episode as a “gross insult” to the valour of armed forces, CPI(M) asked Centre to take “serious” note of Fadnavis’ alleged failure in upholding the rule of law by acting against MNS, which had threatened to disrupt screening of the film ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’, featuring Fawad Khan.
Slated to release on October 28, the film has Ranbir Kapoor, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Anushka Sharma in lead roles.
“The Politburo strongly condemns role of the Chief Minister who instead of upholding rule of the law to stop those threatening film-makers has actually facilitated extortion of a reported sum of Rs 5 crore, invoking the armed forces.
“This is a gross insult to the courage, valour and the role being played by the armed forces in defence of India,” CPI(M) said in a statement.
Party general secretary Sitaram Yechury tweeted, “The failure of Maha govt should be taken serious note of by the Central govt in accordance with the constitutional provisions.
The Left party further charged Fadnavis with “negating” Constitutional mandate, which it said, creates an “environment of fear” and stifles freedom of expression.
Director of the film, Karan Johar, and other producers yesterday met the Chief Minister at his official residence ‘Varsha’ in Mumbai, where Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray was also present.
Thackeray said MNS laid down three conditions that filmmakers who worked with Pakistani actors have to comply with including contribution of Rs 5 crore to the army fund and putting a special mention paying homage to martyrs at the beginning of the film.
The demands were agreed to by the Producers’ Guild.