" --IANS"
Gandhinagar, Nov 18 - Amid growing protests over Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Padmavati, the leader of a Rajput group in Gujarat has criticised the filmmaker, alleging it was a tactic of Bhansali to always create a controversy ahead of his film's release to create a boom at the box-office.

Protests against Bhansali's upcoming movie Padmavati are burgeoning around the country, and has also rubbed off in the poll-bound state of Gujarat.

This time the Rajput community's various groups are not against the film's release on December 1 as the Supreme Court has refused to stay it.

The Gaurav Swabhiman Sabha in Gujarat has declared a pledge to not let the film run in the theaters of Gujarat, as they feel that it has been mischievous on the part of Bhansali to depict Rajput women in degrading fashion.

The group's leader Shersinh Rana told the media, In the coming days we will be reaching out to all the people in Gujarat and urge the people to boycott this film. Besides we will be fielding around a thousand people at each theater the film will be shown in the state. We want to inflict maximum financial blow to the mischievous film director Bhansali.

When IANS asked him about the apex court verdict, Rana said, I totally agree with the apex court's decision, but why is it that every time Bhansali produces a film it lands in controversy? He has made a habit of it, and we will make him pay for it. And why did he display it to some groups when first it has to be shown to the CBFC before the certification?

According to Shersinh Rana, the group will work along with other Hindu organizations in the state and hold 'Gaurav Swabhiman Sabha' in each of the three districts of the state. The demonstrations and meetings will start from November 25 in Surat, on November 26 in Dhanera, and so forth covering major cities of the state. A mega convention is planned at the GMDC ground in Ahmedabad on December 3 for the cause.

Earlier, people associated with Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and those belonging to Rajput, Karni and Gurjar communities too had warned against release of the film that allegedly tarnishes the image of Queen Padmavati.

Last month, a mob of Karni Sena and VHP members had destroyed a rangoli depicting actress Deepika Padukone made by a local artist in a city-based mall.

The ruling BJP too had written to the Election Commission seeking a ban on release of the movie till after the Gujarat Assembly elections on December 9 and 14.

--IANS

amc/rn


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