Akhilesh Screens Deepika’s ‘Chhapaak’ Amid Boycott Calls

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Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav has arranged a special screening of Deepika Padukone’s new film – ‘Chhapaak‘ – for party workers in Lucknow on Friday. The move is aimed at expressing support for Padukone who has been criticized on social media after her Tuesday evening visit to Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University, where she stood in solidarity with students injured in last week’s vicious mob attack that left 34 people injured, including the JNU students’ union leader Aishe Ghosh and several faculty members.

Chhapaak‘, which also marks Padukone’s debut as a film producer, is directed by Meghna Gulzar and is based on the real-life story of Laxmi Agarwal, a Delhi woman who was an acid attack victim.

A senior party leader while quoted by news agency IANS said, “We are also watching the film because our president Akhilesh Yadav has always been concerned about the problems of acid attack survivors. He (Mr. Yadav) had set up the Sheroes Hangout cafe in Lucknow for acid attack survivors.”

Padukone celebrated her birthday on January 5 at the cafe with acid attack survivors.

UP Congress has also expressed support, with party leader Shailendra Tiwari putting up posters of the film around the city and calling on people to go and watch the film.

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath tweeted: “Deepika Padukone’s film on acid attack survivor, Chhapaak is releasing across the country on January 10. I declare it tax-free in Madhya Pradesh”.

Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel announced a similar move and also urged people to watch the movie with their families. “The film spreads awareness among people against heinous crime like an acid attack on women in society. You all should go to watch the movie along with your families,” he said.

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