LUCKNOW: Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav Tuesday accused the government of creating a big fuss over Amazon Prime's political saga "Tandav", which he called a "minor" web series.
His statement came in the wake of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry seeking an explanation from the OTT platform over the series, and at least three FIRs being filed with different police stations in Uttar Pradesh against the makers and the artistes of the show.
"What is Tandav?" Yadav told reporters here to a question over the controversy.
"It is a minor series. And you are creating a 'tandav' (a dance form associated with Hindu god Lord Shiva) over it."
Yadav also said OTT platforms gained popularity during the lockdown period and asked as to when an Indian platform will be created that can rival Amazon.
"You talked about swadeshi Andolan and let a foreign platform loot millions of rupees. Tell me when will there be a homemade platform that can rival Amazon," Yadav said, confessing he does not have an Amazon subscription and he has not watched the series.
"Tandav", a nine-episode political thriller starring Saif Ali Khan, Dimple Kapadia, and Mohd Zeeshan Ayyub, started streaming last week and is neck-deep in trouble with loud calls for its ban and an FIR against its makers in Lucknow.
At the center of the row is a scene with Zeeshan, in the role of college student Shiva, playing the Hindu god Mahadev in a theatre production.
The cast and the crew of "Tandav" had to "unconditionally" apologize in a bid to quell the controversy surrounding the show.
On Tuesday, they agreed to implement changes to address concerns raised over the series.
Yadav also attacked the BJP over the ongoing protests against the farm laws, alleging the leaders of the party have nothing to do with agriculture but they just want to control the market linked with it and make profit.
"We are associated with farming, the BJP is not," he claimed.
He said January 26 is a good day for the government to accept the demands of farmers who want the three new agri laws repealed and a legal guarantee on the Minimum Support Price (MSP).
"There can't be a bigger display of love for the country and respect for the constitution. The BJP has got an opportunity to (exhibit) their patriotism and love for this country," he said.
On the National Investigation Agency (NIA) serving notices to some farmer union leaders, he said they have been issued as farmers are agitating against the laws.
The former Uttar Pradesh chief minister was speaking at an event to welcome young-achievers and leaders into the party fold.
He said declining employment opportunities, "privatization of education and politicization of educational institutions" are the burning issues the youth of the country faces.
He also claimed the stringent National Security Act was being invoked against youths who speak their mind and alleged nothing of this sort is taking place anywhere else in the world.
He also alleged Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and his deputy were withdrawing cases lodged against them.
The state today tops parameters such as crime against women, fake encounters, communal violence and hooch tragedy deaths among others, he alleged.
It is also for the first time that "the court has said" that there is a jungle raj in the state, he said.
The Allahabad High Court had recently quashed an FIR against a man who allegedly tweeted that Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had transformed the state into a "jungle raj".
Yadav also raised the issue of national security after reports that China has built a village near Arunachal Pradesh, saying Google maps show China raised constructions in the area over the past few months.
On a question on the biennial MLC elections on 12 seats, the SP chief said he ought to have fielded a third candidate also "since some of the BJP MLAs were ready to vote for his party".
The SP has fielded two nominees as per its strength in the Assembly and the BJP 10 for the election whose process is presently underway.
Later, reacting on Yadav's remark against the BJP government, BJP state president Swatantra Dev Singh said that "at the time the houses of criminals and mafias are being bulldozed their bosses are feeling the pain".
"It's ironic that Akhilesh is raising fingers at the BJP government under whose regime Uttar Pradesh is shining. During the previous SP regime, the state witnessed international shame over poor law and order," Singh said in a statement here.
"It was due to his faulty policies that the SP was voted out of power by the people. Even after forging opportunistic alliances, people discarded the SP due to which entire the opposition is demoralised," he said.