‘Mischievous’ AAP attempting to boost its chances through ‘Udta Punjab’: Swamy

New Delhi: Questioning the release timing of Shahid Kapoor-starrer ‘Udta Punjab’, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy on Thursday alleged that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) was making ‘mischievous’ attempts to boost its chances in next year’s state assembly polls courtesy the drug abuse highlighted in the flick.

Swamy’s remark came a day after Central Board for Film Certification (CBFC) chief Pahlaj Nihalani alleged that the movie’s co-producer Anurag Kashyap has taken money from Arvind Kejriwal-led party to show Punjab in bad light.

Swamy said the timing of the movie seemed wrong because it makes the Punjab Government look responsible for drug abuse in the state.

“Nobody has doubts that drug is a big problem. Who says it started with Akalis? It started with the Congress. This appears to be a mischievous attempt to further the cause of the AAP. And with the AAP defending itself, that only confirms itself,” Swamy said.

The BJP’s Rajya Sabha MP further said there is nothing wrong if the movie is released after the Punjab elections are over.

Asserting that the 2017 Punjab elections would be fought on the grounds of the rampant drug abuse in the state, the AAP had yesterday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of having the CBFC chief in his pocket and using him as a pawn to further his chances in the polls by playing politics over ‘Udta Punjab’.

“It is our humble request to Modi ji, Jaitley ji and Badal ji that after letting Punjab suffer for 10 years under the influence of drugs, they should stop playing politics with ‘Udta Punjab’. Nihalani is launching a tirade of charges on an innocent producer without any proof and he wants him to apologise,” AAP leader Ashish Khetan told the media.

AAP supremo and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had earlier held the NDA regime responsible for 89 cuts in ‘Udta Punjab’.

“#UdtaPunjabCensored What else cud one expect in Modi regime?’ he tweeted.

Kejriwal also accused Nihalani of censoring the film on the ruling BJP’s directions.

“Pahlaj Nihalani’s statement makes it amply clear that he has stopped the film on BJP’s instructions,” he added.

Defending the decision to make a whopping 89 cuts from ‘Udta Punjab’, Nihalani had earlier asserted that he had made the same keeping the law and order situation of the state in mind and accused co-producer Anurag Kashyap of trying to take mileage from the entire controversy to promote his film.

Meanwhile, the Bombay High Court will today resume the hearing on the petition filed by Phantom Films – one of the producers of the movie.

Co-produced by Phantom Films and Balaji Motion Pictures, ‘Udta Punjab’, a highly talked about movie that is being keenly anticipated by a large section of youth is based on substance abuse in Punjab.

The movie also starring Alia Bhatt, Kareena Kapoor Khan and Punjabi singer-actor Diljit Dosanjh was slated to release on June 17.