Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Sunday alleged the BJP's "promotion" of the upcoming movie The Accidental Prime Minister was a mere political stunt by the party and a "desperate" effort to undermine the Congress ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Several Opposition parties, especially the Congress, hfaccave denounced the BJP for tweeting out the trailer of the film, a political drama based on a book written by former prime minister Manmohan Singh's media advisor Sanjaya Baru, last week.
The movie stars Anupam Kher as Manmohan Singh and Akshaye Khanna as Sanjaya Baru. The trailer of the movie shows Mr Singh as a victim of the Congress's internal politics ahead of the 2014 general elections.
Amarinder Singh in a statement said the BJP's attempt to project Manmohan Singh as a "weak and docile" prime minister is "not only childish but brazenly politically motivated".
"It clearly shows their desperation and frustration in the face of an imminent defeat in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections," the Punjab chief minister said.
Amarinder Singh said the BJP needed to accept that they had lost the support of people and it cannot be earned back by doing "cheap politics".
"Even the worst critics of Dr Singh could not find fault with him and the BJP was merely using the movie ... as a pawn in a futile attempt to undermine the Congress in view of the upcoming parliamentary elections," the statement quoted him as saying.
Amarinder Singh said he was a witness to the "total independence" Manmohan Singh received from then Congress president Sonia Gandhi, "who did not believe in interfering in government matters".
"Unlike the BJP, the Congress believed in allowing its leaders and members to run their own affairs as they deemed fit," he claimed.
"This was particularly true in the case of Dr Singh, whose elevation to prime ministership was in itself an indication that the party had complete faith in his abilities and capabilities," he said.
Amarinder Singh said he himself had total freedom to function as he desired in Punjab - which shows "the party follows a policy of non-interference in these matters".
He said Manmohan Singh is a "great economist, an independent thinker and decision maker, who had created a niche for himself as one of India's most intelligent and visionary leaders".
"Manmohan Singh is a "world-class leader in his own right. The nation will forever remain indebted to the former prime minister for leading it to new heights of global eminence through his far-reaching decisions. If India became a global economic superpower, the credit goes to Dr Singh", he said.