Maharashtra Congress alleged on Tuesday that the party workers staging a “peaceful” protest against the play “Hey Ram Nathuram” in Nagpur on Sunday were given life threats by police “as the state government belonged to the ideology of Nathuram Godse, who assassinated Mahatma Gandhi”.
In a statement, Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) spokesman Sachin Sawant said, Godse is being glorified through the play, which is being staged in different parts of the state. “Congress was peacefully protesting against the play in Nagpur yesterday by raising slogans like ‘Mahatma Gandhi Ki Jai’. But since the government belongs to Godse’s ideology, slogans hailing the father of the nation were not tolerated. Therefore, the party workers were threatened by police that they will be shot dead,” Sawant alleged.
He also alleged that the state Home Department, which is headed by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, is trying to ensure that the play is a success.
He said despite attempts to glorify Godse, the poor attendance at the show in Nagpur shows Mahatma Gandhi is always on the minds of Indians. When contacted, BJP spokesperson Madhav Bhandari hit back saying Congress is merely indulging in “publicity stunts” as it has no credibility left in the state. “The Congress is using all possible rhetorics and levelling false allegations without substance to show the BJP in poor light,” he said.
“The BJP has nothing to do with the play or the Congress workers protesting there. Maintaining law and order is the job of the police and there is no reason to believe that instead of doing their duty, they would indulge in threats,” Bhandari said.
High voltage drama was witnessed outside the Vasantrao Deshpande Hall in Nagpur hours before the staging of play on Sunday, when workers from Congress, NCP and Sambhaji Brigade raised slogans and blocked auditorium entrance preventing viewers entry. Some protestors, including the officer-bearers of various political parties had been detained by police.