Indore, October 27
Ahead of by-polls, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Tuesday announced that a memorial of Rani Padmavati would be built in Bhopal, and cases against those who protested against the film “Padmavat” would be withdrawn.
Speaking at the traditional ‘shastra pujan’ (weapon worship) programme of the local Rajput community, Chouhan said land for the memorial had been earmarked at Manuabhan Ki Tekri in Bhopal.
He attacked Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s controversial 2018 period drama “Padmavat”, calling it a “blow to society’s honour”, and noted that it was banned in Madhya Pradesh.
“We have decided to withdraw all the cases registered during the protest against the film in the state as the protesters were opposing injustice,” he said.
Lessons on Rani Padmavati will be included in school curriculum from the next academic year, said the BJP leader.
Annual prizes of Rs 2 lakh each will be instituted in the names of Maharana Pratap and Rani Padmavati to felicitate men and women who have exhibited exemplary bravery, Chouhan announced.
By-polls to 28 Assembly seats will be held in the state on November 3.
Bhansali’s film on queen Padmini/Padmavati had faced stiff resistance from Rajput organisations which alleged that it distorted history.
Meanwhile, some members of the audience, including women, shouted slogans against caste-based reservations when the Chief Minister’s speech was nearing its end.
Standing on chairs, they also shouted “Mamaji (as Chouhan is popularly known) give jobs to everyone”.
Chouhan left the venue even as slogans continued. PTI