Will welcome Padmavati team to Bengal: CM
Kolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee asserted on Friday that her state is ready to welcome Padmavati and its crew in Bengal.
"If they cannot do it in any other state, let them come here. We can make special arrangements," Banerjee said responding to a poser at a conclave on Friday.
Banerjee's remark assumes significance as controversy has been raging across the country over Sanjay Leela Bhansali's period drama
Padmavati and some states have banned the movie.
"One or two BJP supporters had gone to create a disturbance at a place, and we took prompt action. They can come here and do a premiere. Bengal will be very happy to welcome the movie, and we will be proud to do so," she said.
Banerjee's statement comes just days after she tweeted that the row over the film was a "calculated plan" to destroy freedom of expression in the country.
When asked about her move to welcome Pakistani artist perform in Kolkata, Banerjee said: "Pakistan is a country. Bangladesh is a country. Myanmar is a country. Can we forget Sare Jahan Se Accha
written by Iqbal? It is our Azadi song. Why should we not accept singers and cricketers? Sports and music have no boundaries," she added.
In January 2016, Kolkata's Netaji Indoor Stadium hosted a concert of ghazal exponent Ghulam Ali. Banerjee had offered Kolkata as a venue for the singer's concert after it was cancelled in Mumbai due to threats by the Shiv Sena in November 2015.
On November 22, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani declared that his government would not allow the release of Padmavati in the poll-bound state.
Earlier, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan opined that the film had "distorted facts" about Rajput queen Padmavati and would not be allowed to be released in his state, even if it gets a censor board certification.
Chouhan's Uttar Pradesh counterpart Yogi Adityanath held the movie director responsible for hurting the sentiments of the Rajput community, while Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje had sought edits in the film to remove "objectionable sequences".
Several organisations across the country have been opposing the release of the movie. The Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor starrer was scheduled to be released on December 1, but it has now been deferred.