A morphed video clip depicting Prime Minister Narendra Modi as Chhatrapati Shivaji, Union Home Minister Amit Shah as his trusted military commander Tanhaji and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal as the villainous character from Ajay Devgn’s Bollywood film has surfaced, causing a row ahead of the high-stake Delhi assembly polls.
Notably, the video clip came into circulation days after a book comparing PM Modi with Chhatrapati Shivaji had caused a huge furore in Maharashtra. The book was written by a Delhi BJP leader.
The morphed video, first posted on Twitter handle Political Kida, depicts Kejriwal as villainous Udaybhan Singh Rathod (a Mughal fort keeper) from the film Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior.
It shows a sequence from the film with the faces of PM Modi, Shah and Kejriwal superimposed on the faces of Chhatrapati Shivaji, Tanhaji and Rathod, respectively.
As the controversy raged, the BJP has distanced itself from the video clip, saying it was nowhere related to the party, and that it will never back comparison of anyone with Chhatrapati Shivaji- the 17th Century founder of the Maratha empire.
Check The Video Out Below:
Condemning the video, Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh of NCP said the state government will raise the issue with the video-sharing platform YouTube, while Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut said such “insult” to Chhatrapati Shivaji will not be tolerated.
In the film, released on January 10, actors Sharad Kelkar, Ajay Devgn and Saif Ali Khan have essayed the roles of Chhatrapati Shivaji, Tanhaji Malusare (a lieutenant of the Maratha warrior king) and Rathod, respectively.
“I condemn the BJP for stooping so low to seek political mileage. It is wrong to use venerable Shivaji Maharaj and Tanhaji (for political gains),” Deshmukh said.
“We will raise the issue with YouTube,” the minister said, adding that he has received complaints about the video clip.
Raut said that his party, which heads the coalition government in the state, will not tolerate any insult to their “deity” Shivaji Maharaj.
The Sena MP also questioned the “silence” of those who had protested earlier against his remarks asking BJP leader Udayanraje Bhosale to “prove” that he is a descendant of the warrior king.
Without naming Hindutva leader Sambhaji Bhide and former Satara MP Udayanraje Bhosale’s supporters who called for Sangli and Satara shut down over his remark last week, Raut said he has sent the clip to “all these people” and is waiting for their reaction on it.
“Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj is our deity. We will not tolerate his insult. If somebody does it and questions us for no reason, why are they silent now?” Raut asked.
Maharashtra BJP president Chandrakant Patil said his party was nowhere related to the clip and condemned it. He added the party is not using the clip also for the Delhi poll campaign.
“It is wrong to question the BJP over the clip. It is the BJP’s stand that nobody can be compared with Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj,” Patil said in a statement.
He also launched a veiled attack on Raut, saying those who seek proof from the descendants of Chhatrapati Shivaji have no right to talk about the Maratha warrior king.
Minister and state Congress chief Balasaheb Thorat said one will be a mere actor if he wears the attire of Chhatrapati Shivaji.
“We have often said nobody should try to be so. There cannot be a comparison (with Shivaji Maharaj) and (nobody) should compare also. Some (people) are trying, but it is wrong. People won’t like it,” Thorat said.
Another minister and Congress leader Amit Deshmukh said the Election Commission should take cognisance if the video is used for a poll campaign.
Meanwhile, BJP leader Ram Kadam accused Raut of raising the issue to escape from answering questions pertaining to senior Congress leader and former state chief minister Ashok Chavan’s video.
The video shows Chavan purportedly saying that his party joined the Shiv Sena-led government on the “insistence” of the “Muslim community” to stop the BJP from returning to power.
Chavan told PTI on Tuesday he didn’t specifically mention Muslims in his speech.