NAGPUR: For the second time in 48 hours film-maker Madhur Bhandarkar was forced to cancel a press conference to promote his film Indu Sarkar after Congress party workers allegedly forced themselves into the venue at a hotel in Nagpur on Sunday.
Mr. Bhandarkar then expressed his displeasure on Twitter. He wrote, “Dear @OfficeOfRG after Pune I have 2 cancel today’s PressCon at Nagpur.Do you approve this hooliganism? Can I have my Freedom of Expression.”
Addressing reporters at Nagpur airport Mr. Bhandarkar said, “It’s really sad that Congress workers are creating a ruckus at our press conferences. On Saturday, about 200 people entered the hotel in Pune and stalled the event.”
He said, “Rahul Gandhi is the leader and his party workers are creating a ruckus at our events and threaten to blacken our faces and throw ink at us. This is wrong and the party must condemn it. It is my responsibility to ask Mr. Gandhi when this mistreatment will end. The party talks of the freedom of expression. People write books and make documentaries [on Indira Gandhi]. Can’t I make a film? You are reacting to a trailer of three minutes. The film is 70% fictional and 30% based on books and documentaries. My actors and I are scared and have cancelled our trips to Bangalore and Ahmedabad. Let the people watch the movie.”
Mr. Bhandarkar turned down the party’s demand to hold a special screening before the movie’s release. He said the claims that the film was “BJP sponsored” was “absolutely obnoxious”.
Meanwhile, the Congress denied the allegations. Party spokesperson Atul Londhe said, “The party workers will not allow anyone to impose their ideology on us and malign our leader. We didn’t go there to stop his press conference. We went there peacefully, but he fled.”