The Padmavati row got out of hand on the day Sanjay Leela Bhansali was slapped on the sets of his movie. Now, courtesy a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader in Madhya Pradesh, Akhilesh Khandelwal has added to the chaos by announcing that he would reward anyone who ‘slapped’ Bhansali with a shoe. According to a report in India Today, the politician has promised Rs 10,000 to anyone who assaults the director. While the Padmavati team has reiterated that the film contains no love scenes between Deepika Padukone’s character of the titular Rajput queen and Ranveer Singh’s Muslim ruler, this has not made any of the factions back down.
Khandelwal was quoted as saying in the India Today report, “They are trying to distort our history to show us in poor light in public. We can no more remain silent. We consider it our responsibility to rein in such forces.” In Mumbai, the Hindu Sena has burned effigies of the filmmaker and said that the ghastly incidents that took place in Jaipur would be repeated if the Padmavati crew shifted base to Mumbai. The group also gave an umbrella threat that extended to all of Bollywood as the film fraternity condemned the attack on Bhansali.
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Even with the Padmavati row going out of control, the movie has gotten support from some places as well. Tejashwi Yadav, Bihar’s Deputy Cheif Minister has offered the film’s cast and crew to shoot Padmavati in his state, according to a report in First Post. It is unknown whether Bhansali will take up the offer. While Bhansali’s earlier film Bajirao Mastani had also stirred controversy due to its bending of historical facts, the escalation of the violence on the Padmavati sets has never been seen before in Bollywood.