The demand from the Maharashtra Youth Congress to prevent screenings of Vijay Gutte’s The Accidental Prime Minister was met with some consternation.
However, the party itself has now chosen to back down from its initial demand. After the opposition to the film, state Youth Congress chief Satyajeet Tambe Patil tweeted that the party has decided to ignore the ‘propaganda’ film.
Based on senior journalist Sanjaya Baru’s book The Accidental Prime Minister: The Making and Unmaking of Manmohan Singh, the film delves into the time when Manmohan Singh took over as prime minister of India at the head of a United Progressive Alliance government.
Veteran actor and avowed Narendra Modi supporter Anupam Kher portrays the former prime minister while Akshaye Khanna, actor-son of the late film star and BJP member of Parliament Vinod Khanna, plays Baru, the outsider offered a peek into the politics in the Congress. Baru was Manmohan Singh’s media adviser for a while.
The trailer of the film, which was released earlier this week, portrayed the former prime minister as a decent man caught in the machinations of a political family, the Gandhis. This did not go down well with the Congress, which demanded the right to veto the film.
Tambe Patil had threatened that the film would not be allowed to be released anywhere in the country unless it was approved by the party at a prior screening.
Anupam Kher hit back, saying, “It is nobody’s right to ask us to show our film to them before releasing it. The film is based on the book, and it is based on facts. We have bought the rights and have followed all the legalities. Everything was in the public domain. Now, how can people have issues? Why should I screen it for anyone? We have shown it to the CBFC [the Central Board of Film Certification], that’s enough.”
However, the Congress has backed down from its demand for a pre-release screening. Pointing to the promotion of the film by the Bharatiya Janata Party’s official Twitter handle, the Congress has taken to rubbishing the movie as a ‘propaganda’ film.
As BJP has tweeted trailer of #TheAccidentalPrimeMinister movie from their official Twitter handle… it is now evident that it is BJP’s propaganda / campaign movie … hence we don’t even want to see this campaign movie of BJP and we withdraw our demand of special screening.
— Satyajeet Tambe (@satyajeettambe) December 28, 2018
Apart from Kher as Manmohan Singh, the film features German actress Suzanne Bernert as Sonia Gandhi. The Accidental Prime Minister is set for release on 11 January 2019.