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No objection to ‘Udta Punjab’ release: Punjab govt

Rival political parties had accused CBFC chief Nihalani of trying to subotage the movie's release, which highlights the drug problem in Punjab.

With Bombay High Court on Monday clearing decks for the release of Udta Punjab, which was caught in censorship row, Punjab government said they had no objection to the movie’s release.

“There is no intention of the state government to stop the release of the movie,” Punjab Education Minister and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) Secretary and Spokesman, Daljeet Singh Cheema said here on Monday.

“It is the people who will decide whether to see it or not,” Cheema said while asserting that Akali government had never created any obstacle in the freedom of expression.

When asked to comment on the court’s decision, he said they are nowhere in the picture. “We have not seen the story. We do not know about it and whatever (Bombay High) court has done it is right. It is up to the censor board what decision they take. We as government are nowhere in picture,” he said.

Rival political parties had accused Nihalani of trying to subotage the release of the movie, which highlights the drug problem in Punjab, under pressure from the state government as Punjab goes to polls next year.

Cheema, however, maintained that SAD had already said that there was AAP’s “hand” in the making of movie, aimed to “defame” Punjab.

Notably Shiromani Akali Dal on June 11 had asked the AAP Convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to accept his party’s role in making of the film Udta Punjab as his own tweets to welcome movie’s co-producer Sameer Nair has exposed the truth that the producer is an “active member” of the party.

AAP on Monday said it has “no links” with Udta Punjab and Nair had quit the party after 2014-Lok Sabha polls.

Reacting to Punjab Congress Chief Amarinder Singh’s statement that he would eradicate drug problem within one month if Congress came to power after next elections, Cheema said, “It means he knows that there is no drug problem in the state. When Amarinder stops raking up the drug issue, this problem will end.

“Till elections, both Amarinder and AAP’s Arvind Kejriwal, will continue to raise this issue.”

Kejriwal, on his part, welcomed the court’s verdict on the movie.

“Udta Punjab judgment is a tight slap on Modi regime’s intolerance,” Kejriwal tweeted.

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Printable version | Feb 22, 2020 4:55:43 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/No-objection-to-%E2%80%98Udta-Punjab%E2%80%99-release-Punjab-govt/article14420383.ece

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