Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on Wednesday declared that the his government would not allow release of Sanjay Leela Bhansali's "Padmavati" in the poll-bound state.
"There is a lot of sensitivity in Kshatriya and Rajput communities with regards to certain depiction of history. We respect their feelings and with elections on the anvil, the state government does not want any controversy.
Besides that the law and order is also our responsibility, so we have decided that we will not allow release of movie 'Padmavati' in Gujarat," he said.
Rupani also said that the ban was not only limited to the state assembly polls which will be held in December "but till the controversies subside".
Asked by media whether he had seen the controversial movie or not before taking such a decision, he said that it was not required. "I have met several people who have expressed anguish and anger against the movie. It has hurt their sentiments bad and we respect their point of view."
"Padmavati", starring Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor and directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, has been in controversy since its making. Earlier, the Karni Sena in Rajasthan had vandalized the sets of the movie during its shooting, protesting the depiction of the queen.
Several organizations across the country have been opposing the release of the movie, whose release has been deferred.
Earlier, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had held that the film had "distorted facts" about Rajput queen Padmavati and would not be allowed to be released in his state, even if it gets censor board certification.
His Uttar Pradesh counterpart Yogi Adityanath had held the movie director responsible for hurting sentiments of Rajput community, while Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje government had sought edits in the film to remove objectionable sequences.
Asked whether this announcement by the Chief Minister of banning the film amounted to violation of the model code of conduct which is in effect in the state, state chief electoral officer B.B. Swain said: "I don't know. I will have to check the matter and decide."