BJP downplays Hema Malini gaffe, turns heat on Akhilesh

New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday came out in defence of its Mathura MP and renowned actress Hema Malini, who has been drawing flak for posting pictures of her movie shoot when her Parliamentary constituency was hit by violence.

BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra, in an attempt to downplay the issue, said the veteran actress has taken up the ‘matter in a very sensitive manner’ and would be reaching Mathura at the earliest to take stock of the situation.

“First and foremost, the moment Hema ji came to know of it, we have all seen, that she has taken up the matter in a very sensitive manner. She has expressed deep concern and is considering going there. She will soon reach Mathura,” Patra said at a media briefing.

He also trained guns at the Akhilesh Yadav-Government in Uttar Pradesh for the Mathura incident, saying that state had failed to maintain law and order in the state.

“Law and order is a state subject. We do not want any politics over it. We have raised certain question, and more over it is the duty of the ruling government to provide security to people.. why has UP CM not reached the site of violence as yet?,” he added.

The 67-year-old veteran actress, after realizing the gaffe, removed her initial tweets and posted a new ones expressing expressed grief over the loss of lives.

“I just came bk frm Mathura & got the news of the violence tht has taken place there in which policemen have lost their lives,” Malini tweeted.

“So so upset by ths news frm a place which is so dear to me Will go there again if my presence is required. My heart goes out to the bereaved,” she said.

Earlier, embarrassing her party, Malini in a series of tweets shared the location of the shoot of her upcoming flick and her pleasant boat ride.

“I was pleasantly surprised to see a vast change ths time thks to Shri Gopal Shetty. The pathways leading to the boat in Versova are smooth. The journey to Madh Island used to be tedious those days.It used to be a 2 hr journey by road or by ferry the approach to which was horrible.Shooting at Madh island for Ek Thi Rani-a film based on the life of HH Vijaya Raje Scindia revived after many years.I play the title role,” her tweets said.

Meanwhile, the death toll in yesterday’s Mathura clash has risen to 22. Those killed include Mathura Superintendent of Police (City) Mukul Dwivedi, Farah Police Station SHO Santosh Yadav and 20 protesters. More than 40 people have been injured in the incident.

The clashes between police and protesters broke out when the men in uniform launched a drive to clear encroachment in Jawahar Bagh area of the city.

Expressing grave concern over the Mathura violence, even the Congress Party cornered the Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party Government over the deteriorating law and order situation in Uttar Pradesh and questioned the ignorance of the local police for not being aware about the ground reality. (ANI)