NEW DELHI: The Congress on Wednesday hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, asking him to "stop crushing" India's soul after BJP leaders gave a call for boycott of Deepika Padukone's film "Chhapaak" in the wake of her visit to JNU campus in support of protesting students.
The opposition party also alleged that as per Modi and his 'Bhakts', no artist can protest or join a cause and has no right to express.
"Modiji, Stop crushing India's soul! As per you and your Bhakts - 1. No artist can protest. 2. No artist shall join a cause. 3.No artist has a right to express."
"Chappak is not about an artist but 1,000 women who suffer acid attacks on their body and soul every year. Isn't this the same," Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said on Twitter.
Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera took a swipe at the BJP, asking if Bollywood actor Deepika Padukone should visit the RSS headquarters in Nagpur instead of JNU.
The opposition party's reaction came amid calls, including from some BJP functionaries, to boycott Padukone's upcoming movie 'Chhapaak' for her visit to the Jawaharlal Nehru University on Tuesday to express solidarity with the students who were attacked by a mob.
"The ruling party has reduced (itself) to indulging in petty social media polls, faking videos. Should she (Deepika Padukone) go to Nagpur, the Sangh headquarters, to promote her movie? What do they want this country to be," Khera asked?
His reaction came when he was asked about a strong reaction from a quarter of the BJP on the actor's visit to the university.
Khera said the government is filing FIRs against students and youth instead of hearing them out.
"If someone is showing concern to the protesting youth, you raise questions on him/her," he said, alleging the ruling BJP claims it is the world's largest party but it has a "small heart".
"If there is unrest across universities, we expect the Prime Minister to go there, we expect the Home Minister, the senior leader of the BJP to go and listen to the youth of this country, whichever campus we are talking about," he said in reference to protests by youth and students on various campuses.
On Padukone's visit to the JNU and the BJP's criticism of it, Khera alleged the ruling party sees "bad intent" everywhere.
He alleged that the prime minister, home minister and other BJP leaders have never heard or answered the youth on their problems.