Chennai: The Sarkar controversy, which snowballed into a major crisis, has led to cancellation of shows across the State since last night following protests by the ruling AIADMK members.
In a bid to end the stir, sources say team Sarkar removed portions that allegedly defamed former chief minister J Jayalalithaa and the AIADMK government. The film was also re-censored, it is learnt. Sources say that an amicable solution would be arrived at soon and screening would begin in theatres from this evening.
Sarkar directed by A R Murugadoss featured Vijay in the lead. Dialogues in the movie, allegedly imitating Jayalalithaa and criticising the State government for giving out freebies, had invited the wrath of the AIADMK leaders and supporters.
They staged protests in front of cinema halls demanding that the movie not be screened.
It featured Vijay in the role of an NRI who comes to Tamilnadu to cast his vote. A series of events leads him to jump on to the political bandwagon.
Soon after the movie’s release Tuesday, AIADMK men were up in arms as actress Varalaxmi plays a baddie named as Komalavalli, which the AIADMK members claimed was Jayalalithaa’s original name.
State Ministers Kadambur Raju, C Ve Shanmugam and D Jayakumar spoke against the film. Protests continued in Chennai, Tiruchi, Karur, Salem, Madurai, Thanjavur, Kanchipuram and other areas.
Party cadres thronged in large numbers in front of theatres where the movie was being screened and demanded that the shows be cancelled. They tore banners and cut-outs of the actor and raised slogans against him. There were no Sarkar shows in cinema theatres since last night.
Fearing backlash and protests, the production house finally agreed to cut the controversial scenes. An office-bearer of Theatre Owners Association, Tirupur Subramaniam, and Tamil Film Exhibitors Association president, Abirami Ramanathan, among others informed that Sun Pictures had agreed to cut the scenes opposed by the AIADMK and submit for re-censor.
Director of Sarkar, A R Murugadoss, today moved the Madras High Court for anticipatory bail. He had earlier tweeted that police tried to reach him at his residence late in the night. “Police had come to my house late tonight and banged the door several times. Since I was not there, they left the premises. Right now I was told there is no police outside my house.”
With police complaints being filed against his movie, Murugadoss chose to move the High Court for anticipatory bail.
VIJAY HOLDS DISCUSSIONS
Even as Sarkar was re-censored and a few scenes were cut, actor Vijay held discussions with his well-wishers and friends at his residence in Panaiyur. He reportedly urged his fans not to retaliate. There is also information that the actor would meet Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami soon.
In the meantime, police security has been provided at Vijay’s house.
Cases have been filed against Vijay fans across the State for erecting illegal banners in front of theatres screening the movie.
MINISTER MEETS CM
This morning, State Information Minister Kadambur Raju held discussions with Chief Minister Palaniswami on the future course of action on the Sarkar issue.
Photos: R Thiyagarajan & C Santhosh