Former prime minister Manmohan Singh today did not comment when asked by reporters for a reaction to the trailer of "The Accidental Prime Minister", the film based on the eponymous book by his former media advisor Sanjaya Baru.
Manmohan Singh was accosted by reporters as he arrived at the Congress office for the party's 134th anniversary celebration.
He paused before the mics, but moved away without a word as soon as the question was asked: "What do you think about the film made about you?"
The trailer of the film starring veteran Anupam Kher as the former prime minister, was launched yesterday and instantly caused a stir on social media. It showed scenes in which the soft-spoken former prime minister appeared to be under pressure from his party, especially then Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and her son and successor to the post, Rahul Gandhi.
Riveting tale of how a family held the country to ransom for 10 long years. Was Dr Singh just a regent who was holding on to the PM's chair till the time heir was ready? Watch the official trailer of #TheAccidentalPrimeMinister, based on an insider's account, releasing on 11 Jan! pic.twitter.com/ToliKa8xaH- BJP (@BJP4India) December 27, 2018
The party's pitch that people should watch the trailer prompted jokes from the Congress and other parties who said the BJP was acting like a "promotional partner" for the film.
Propaganda and Financial Partner- BJP. https://t.co/YL7x4WDZWf- Rashtriya Janata Dal (@RJDforIndia) December 28, 2018
The BJP retaliated saying these parties were no stranger to such "promotion" of films. Party leaders referred to tweets by Rahul Gandhi and Arvind Kejriwal on "Udta Punjab" a film on Punjab's drug problem, released when BJP ally Akali Dal was in power in the state.
A Congress leader in Maharashtra has threatened action if the film's makers don't organise a preview and agree to edit parts that "malign" the image of the party.
Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah tweeted his criticism of the Congress leader's letter.
In another tweet, he took no names as he suggested a film on the "The Insensitive Prime Minister".
Can't wait for when they make The Insensitive Prime Minister. So much worse than being the accidental one.- Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) December 28, 2018
The accidental prime minister releases on January 11, at the height of campaigning for the national election due by May.
Anupam Kher, whose wife Kirron Kher is a BJP lawmaker, was asked whether the ruling party, after its three-state loss to the Congress, could use the film to its advantage. "If I would have been in politics I would have definitely told them to do so. But I am an actor, they will decide," he replied.