Amid buzz over the film 'The Kerala Story', Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MLA Jitendra Awhad organised a special screening of the recently released Marathi film 'Maharashtra Shahir' at Prabhat Talkies in Thane.
Taking to his twitter account , Awhad said, "The Marathi film 'Maharashtra Shahir' will be screened free of charge on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 7 PM at Prabhat Talkies in Thane. Also I appeal to the government that the film should be exempted from tax to reach the maximum audience in the state."
The Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders are promoting the film 'The Kerala Story', which is based on the theme of Love Jihad. Earlier, women and child development minister Mangal Prabhat Lodha organised free shows of 'The Kerala Story', which sparked a debate about why Marathi films are not shown free and are made tax-free.
Awhad on Tuesday, while speaking with the media, said, "'The Kerala Story' movie is a propaganda film that spreads lies and tarnishes the image of Kerala. The figure of 32,000 women being targeted in Love Jihad is misleading. There should be a suo-motu action by Kerala High Court on the film producers and directors."
Awhad's tweet, in which he demanded that the makers of the film 'The Kerala Story' should be hanged, sparked a controversy.
Maharashtra deputy chief minister and home minister Devendra Fadnavis, after watching the film 'The Kerala Story' on Tuesday night, praised the movie and appealed everyone to watch it.
Fadnavis also took a serious note of Awhad's controversial statement and said that the statement will be examined and will be acted upon if found unlawful.
Soon after the controversy, social media is abuzz with posts drawing comparisons between both movies. Many raised questions that why Marathi films are not promoted and given priority in Maharashtra.
Shiv-Sena (UBT) spokesperson Advocate Jayesh Wani said, "It is sad that some leaders of Maharashtra show hateful Hindi movies for free to the people, but they do not even take the name of the Marathi film based on the life of Shahir Sable, the fighter who united Maharashtra and wrote the Maharashtrian songs."
Wani added, "I have ideological differences with Kedar Shinde, the director of 'Maharashtra Shahir'. I believe that he is a supporter of BJP, but I must admit that the film has been made excellent. What is special is that this film seems to have been made honestly. Every Marathi person must watch it."
Kedar Shinde, expressing his displeasure over his film being ignored amid promotion of 'The Kerala Story, tweeted, " Unfortunately in Maharashtra, special shows of the movie 'The Kerala Story' are sponsored by our Maharashtra leaders and shown to people for free. 'Maharashtra Shahir' has been released on Maharashtra Day. Do these leaders know who is Shahir Sable?"