Ajit Pawar on Amol Kolhe controversy: No point examining past decisions

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Clearing his position on the recent controversy over NCP leader and television actor Amol Kolhe playing the role of Nathuram Godse in a short film, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Saturday said that there was no point in examining decisions a person took when he was not involved with the party.

“He became a member of the NCP in 2019 and his ideological position since then is in front of everybody,” Pawar said, adding that “I spoke to him about the issue and he told me that he had been contracted for that role in 2017 and he accepted the role as an artist.”

“Since 2019, when he joined the NCP, he has embraced progressive ideology and he participates in public and social life as per the NCP’s ideology,” the deputy chief minister said.

When asked about his party colleague, Jitendra Awhad, criticising Kolhe’s decision to essay the role, Pawar said, “I am not answerable for what Jitendra says. You can ask him about his opinion. I have expressed mine.”

In the film, “Why I killed Gandhi?”, Kolhe plays the role of Mahatma Gandhi’s killer, Nathuram Godse, and, in the promotional video posted on the social media, is seen making a statement in the court justifying the decision to assassinate Gandhi on the evening of January 30, 1948.

As per the makers of the film, the film is a “picturisation of the legal statement” made by Godse during the Gandhi murder trial and aims to give a “radically alternative perspective to look at the history of 20th century India”.

Kolhe, who represents Shirur Lok Sabha constituency, has also played the role of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and his son, Sambhaji Maharaj, in popular television serials. He became a household name with “Swarajyarakshak Sambhaji” aired on a private television channel between 2017 and 2020. A skilled orator, he started his political career with the Shiv Sena in March 2014, following an informal association with the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena. Ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, he ditched the Sena and joined the NCP. The party made him a candidate from Shirur Lok Sabha constituency against three-time Sena MP Shivaji Adhalrao Patil. In the ensuing election, Kolhe defeated Patil by over 50,000 votes despite NCP’s poor performance in the state. Later that year, the party quite successfully used Kolhe as a star campaigner in the assembly polls.

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