The Accidental Prime Minister trailer stirs up political storm; Congress demands private screening prior to release
The BJP on Thursday shared the trailer on Twitter and said it told a 'riveting tale of how a family held the country to ransom for 10 long years'
Barely hours after the trailer of The Accidental Prime Minister was released, the film based on a namesake book by former prime minister Manmohan Singh's media adviser Sanjaya Baru, has managed to create a political stir with BJP resorting to Gandhi-family bashing and the Congres terming it a 'political propaganda' timed keeping in mind the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. While actor Anupam Kher, who portrays Singh in the film, has been praised on social media for his performance, political parties have been crossing swords over the portrayal of the former prime minister and the Congress party. The drama over the film, which is slated to be released on 11 January, has also generated funny reactions and memes on social media.
Let's take a look at some of the political reactions:
BJP on Twitter
The BJP on Thursday shared the trailer on Twitter and said it told a "riveting tale of how a family held the country to ransom for 10 long years".
Riveting tale of how a family held the country to ransom for 10 long years. Was Dr Singh just a regent who was holding on to the PM’s chair till the time heir was ready? Watch the official trailer of #TheAccidentalPrimeMinister, based on an insider’s account, releasing on 11 Jan! pic.twitter.com/ToliKa8xaH
— BJP (@BJP4India) December 27, 2018
The trailer shows Singh as the victim of internal politics of the Congress ahead of 2014 general elections, which the UPA (United Progressive Alliance) lost.
Reactions to BJP's comment
Soon after the trailer was shared by the BJP, the Maharashtra Youth Congress and Punjabi Cultural Heritage Board (PCHB) wrote to the makers of the film and has asked for a private screening of the movie before its release.
"If the said movie is released without prior screening for our office bearers and without making necessary changes recommended by us that we find out after viewing the movie it will be understood that you are doing this deliberately and we have other options open to stop the screening of the same across India," Satyajeet Tambe Patil, president of the Maharashtra State Youth Congress, said in a letter to the producers of the film.
Patil, also said that the trailer seemed provocative and maligned the Congress party through its erroneous portrayal of United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi. Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala also termed the film political propaganda and stated that the release date was a consciously planned decision.
However, India Today reports that the Congress party has released an internal circular asking its members not to comment on the film or the trailer.
Criticising statements made by Congress members
Meanwhile, Information and Broadcasting Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore was subsequently quoted as saying by news agency ANI, "Can’t we extend our wishes for a film? Congress has been all for freedom, why is it questioning that freedom now?"
Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah also waded into the controversy when he criricised Patil for his comments.
As much as the Congress, it’s branches/off-shoots & other well wishers of Dr Manmohan Singh may find the movie disagreeable, we can’t talk about intolerance & then threaten to stop all screenings. Dr Singh’s record & legacy won’t be the product of one single movie or book. https://t.co/zb9GZxMwgL — Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) December 28, 2018
He later also tweeted:
Can’t wait for when they make The Insensitive Prime Minister. So much worse than being the accidental one.
— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) December 28, 2018
Some other BJP members have also reacted sharply to the movie's trailer:
With news of coming in of Madhya Pradesh banning The Accidental Prime Minister, Irony committed suicide by slitting her wrists after drinking poison. pic.twitter.com/P8qzciG8Al — Suresh Nakhua 🇮🇳 (@SureshNakhua) December 28, 2018
Million dollar question , is there a parallel between Satanic verses and Accidental Prime Minister viz a viz blasphemy law😝😝
— Mahendra Pandey (@MahendraP_BJP) December 28, 2018
Pankaj Pachauri, who was the media adviser to Singh after Baru, was quoted by News18 as saying that the book was a fictional account and the screen adaptation of that is also complete fiction. “It’s fiction turned into fiction,” he said. Singh, in the meanwhile, has refused to comment on the trailer.
Subscribe to Moneycontrol Pro at ₹499 for the first year. Use code PRO499. Limited period offer. *T&C apply
The move comes days after the Congress-led government in the Union Territory lost power during a vote of confidence
With the collapse of the Puducherry government, the Congress has lost its second government in a year after Madhya Pradesh
V Narayanasamy struggles to hold on to power in Puducherry despite political guile, loyalty to Gandhis
A floor test on Monday will decide the future of Narayanasamy's government, barely two months before the Assembly polls in the Union Territory are scheduled to be held