Thane, Jan 25 (PTI) NCP Leader Supriya Sule has deplored the violence against the controversial Bollywood film “Padmaavat”, which was released today amid strident protests by fringe groups in many states.

Launching a veiled attack on the BJP government, Sule said “there is a rampant misuse of power and there exists no freedom of expression”.

Addressing an event here, Sule, the daughter of NCP supremo Sharad Pawar, wished the Shiv Sena good luck over its recent announcement to contest the 2019 polls solo sans any truck with the ruling BJP.

“I wish the Sena all the best for their decision,” the Baramati MP said.

She said the society has grown intolerant over the last 5-10 years.

“Of late, the freedom of expression is being trampled upon and free thoughts are being slaughtered. A hue and cry is being generated over ‘Padmaavat’. There is a sense of insecurity in the common man now,” she said while addressing a gathering.

Backing the Sanjay Leela Bhansali film, which finally hit theatres today amid strident protests over the portrayal of Rajput queen Padmavati, Sule said some groups are “holding the country to ransom” by indulging in violence.

“Even after the Censor Board and courts clearing the movie for screening, some people are still opposing it and holding the entire country to ransom,” the NCP leader said.

She said the protests have affected the flow of tourists visiting Rajasthan, where intense agitations were staged by Rajput groups against the movie.

Sule said there was a time when members of the society “could move freely and express their views freely without fear”.

She said Shiv Sena supremo (late) Bal Thackeray and her father used to criticise each other over several issues.

“However, this did not affect their bondage and friendship which they always protected,” Sule said.

She also criticised Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis over his “failure” to arrest Hindutva leaders Sambhaji Bhide and Milind Ekbote who were booked in connection with the Koregaon Bhima caste violence in Pune district on January 1.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.