Union minister Smriti Irani takes aim at Deepika Padukone over JNU visit, says 'want to know her political affiliation'

  • Union minister from BJP Smriti Irani slammed Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone over her recent visit to Delhi's Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU)

  • 'I want to know what Padukone's political affiliation is. Anybody who has read the news would know why she would stand with the protesters,' she said

  • At a conclave organised by The New Indian Express, Irani referred to the 'Tukde Tukde gang' and said, 'It's Deepika Padukone's freedom to stand next to people who call for the destruction of India'

Union minister Smriti Irani on Thursday slammed Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone over her recent visit to Delhi's Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), saying "I want to know what her political affiliation is."

"Anybody who has read the news would know why she would stand with the protesters," Irani said at a conclave organised by The New Indian Express. "It's Deepika Padukone's freedom to stand next to people who call for the destruction of India.”

"I think that anybody who has read the news knew where you are going to stand... knew that you are standing with people who celebrate every time a CRPF jawan is killed," Irani claimed at the event in Chennai. "I would rather know what her (Deepika Padukone's) political affiliation is than not know... I can't deny her that right that she will stand next to people who will beat up other girls who don't see eye-to-eye ideologically in private parts. That's her freedom (sic)," the BJP leader said.

Amid criticism over top Bollywood celebrities maintaining silence over the violence in JNU,  Padukone joined the protesting students at the JNU's Sabarmati hostel on Tuesday.

Padukone also spoke to a news channel about protests against the amended Citizenship Act, the National Register of Citizens and violence in JNU, saying that it was necessary for people to express their point of view to bring about change. Padukone's visit to the JNU campus received both criticism and appreciation on social media with some calling up for a "boycott" of her films and others lauding the actor's "bold" move.

Union Minister Prakash Javadekar earlier spoke about Padukone’s visit to JNU. "Why only artistes, any common man can go anywhere to express his opinion, there cannot be any objection," Javadekar said amid calls for boycotting Padukone's movie Chhapaak, which hits theatres today.

Students and faculty members were assaulted on 5 January after a mob went on a rampage, attacking students with sticks and iron rods and vandalising property. There was an atmosphere of unrest in the campus for a few days preceding the incident over the sustained protest against the proposed fee hike for the varsity's hostel along with demonstrations against the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

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Updated Date: Jan 10, 2020 15:10:41 IST