Newly appointed president of Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee Nana Patole on Thursday warned that if the Bollywood stars Amitabh Bachchan and Akshay Kumar do not take a stand on the soaring auto fuel prices then the screening and shooting of their films would not be allowed in Maharashtra.
Patole after attending the bullock car and tractor rally in his home district Bhandara against farm laws and rising fuel prices reminded Bachchan and Akshay Kumar of their tweets made in 2012 against increasing fuel prices during the Congress-led UPA rule. He asked why they were now silent despite rapidly rising fuel prices.
"The Modi government has hiked petrol, diesel, and cooking gas prices. Today, petrol price has gone up by Rs 100 a litre and a domestic gas cylinder by Rs 800, making life difficult for the common man. People are expressing anger against the Modi government. During the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre, many celebrities, including Amitabh Bachchan and Akshay Kumar, tweeted against the petrol price hike. However, these celebrities have remained silent despite the huge hike in prices,’’ said Patole.
He further added, "If they (Bachchan and Akshay Kumar) do not take a stand now on the injustice meted out by the Modi government, we will not let any films screening or shootings in Maharashtra."
Patole noted that these actors should now play the same role and protest against the central government's "anti-national policy", as they did during Manmohan Singh's tenure.
NCP leader and Minister of Housing Jitendra Awhad supported Patole and said that "Rihanna is far better."
‘’Akshay Kumar is the highest-earning Bollywood star but takes all his profits to Canada. He is a Canadian, Rihanna is far better. She battled poverty and now contributes to society worldwide,’’ noted Awhad.
Awhad said "Amitabh Bachchan is not an ideal or icon for citizens. He had tweeted during the UPA regime saying cars should be burnt. Now as fuel prices are skyrocketing, it seems like now Amitabh has burnt his own car."
However, BJP has slammed Patole for an open threat. The opposition party jumped to the defence of Amitabh Bachchan and Akshay Kumar. Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis termed it was Patole’s publicity stunt but reminded him there was a rule of law in the country.
‘’Patole has been newly elected as the state Congress president and he wants to be in the news. Hence, he is targeting Amitabh Bachchan and Akshay Kumar to gain publicity. How can anyone stop shooting? There is democracy and rule of law in India,’’ he opined.