'Deepika Padukone's Congress leanings known since 2011': Smriti Irani hits out at actor for attending JNU protest

New Delhi: Union Minister Smriti Irani has come down hard on Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone for mingling with the pro-Left students lobby at JNU.

Deepika Padukone had visited the JNU campus late on Tuesday and stood in solidarity with JNUSU president Aishe Ghosh and others who had been assaulted by masked men who were allegedly ABVP activists.

On Thursday, Smriti Irani speaking at a function in Chennai, questioned Deepika's motives in standing in solidarity with the pro-Left JNUSU leaders and ignoring the ABVP activists who had also complained of being assaulted earlier.

"She knew that she is standing with people who beat other girls at their private parts with lathis who don't see eye to eye with them ideologically," the Minister said.

"She stood next to them, that is her right. I can't deny her that right. She made her political affiliation known in 2011 that she supports the Congress party," the Union Minister declared and went on to add,

"It's her right (to) stand next to people who say Bharat tere tukde honge...It was a shock for people who admired her and watched all her films but did not know (about her political affiliation).

"It was not a shock for me. I think the vibrance of the democracy that we are in depends upon that... we live with so many people who say so many things. We live in a democracy where communists want to come to power through democratic process. It is an oxymoron (sic)."

Deepika has recently produced and acted in 'Chhapaak' a movie based on an acid-attack victim, and has been busy promoting the movie. But after her visit to JNU campus on Tuesday, Deepika has been at the receiving end for siding with anti-BJP elements.

JNU campus has been simmering with tension after a group of masked people attacked several students on campus. The injured were mostly pro-Left student union activists, who have accused the right-wing ABVP.

The ABVP activists have on the other hand, accused pro-Left students of starting the cycle of violence.

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