New Delhi: Taking a contrasting stand yet again from its now-former ally BJP, the Shiv Sena on Saturday supported Bollywood actor Deepika Padukone, who is facing a backlash for visiting the students injured in last week’s mob attack at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) campus, saying that the campaign calling for a boycott of her recently-released film ‘Chhapaak’ was reflective of a ‘Talibani mindset.’ Also Read - 'Inspires us to Take Stock of What is Truly at Stake': Raghuram Rajan on Deepika's Silent Protest Against JNU Violence
#BoycottChhappak has been trending on social media ever since she visited the campus on Tuesday, two days after the attack. Also Read - Akhilesh Yadav Organises Special Screening of Deepika Padukone's 'Chhapaak' in Lucknow
Speaking to media on the issue, Raut, the party’s Rajya Sabha MP, said, “I don’t know her political inclination but I admire her. You shared power with traitors in Kashmir, but she didn’t speak about that,” referring to the BJP joining hands with the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to form the government there in March 2015. The BJP withdrew its support in June 2018, triggering the government’s fall.
“Deepika just met the students at JNU and expressed her sentiments silently. I feel that it is wrong to brand her as a traitor and boycott her just because she expressed her sentiments,” he added.
“The country cannot be run in Talibani style,” the firebrand Sena leader said further.
A host of BJP leaders, including Union Minister Smriti Irani, have slammed the actor post her visit to JNU. However, another Union Minister, Prakash Javadekar, has defended her, saying that as an Indian citizen, she had the freedom to put forth her views.
Earlier, the Sena had also defended a woman seen holding a ‘Free Kashmir’ poster at a JNU solidarity protest held in Mumbai recently. Defending her, it had said that she meant ‘Free Kashmir’ only in terms of communication lockdown there, and not in terms of ‘freeing it from India.’