New Delhi: No one loves controversy more than Bollywood. Controversy is good for film promotion and at times it has been rumoured that stoking one before a movie’s release is rather an efficient marketing strategy. Controversy stokes public interest and thus draws people out to watch the movie all the more. The cash registers start ringing big time.

While Udta Punjab and Padmaavat are the more recent examples, incidentally the Congress has taken upon itself to promote The Accidental Prime Minister featuring Anupam Kher. It is former PM Manmohan Singh’s biopic based on a book written by insider Sanjaya Baru with the same title.

The Congress unease is palpable as the movie, just as the book, apparently shows the former PM under duress from then Congress president and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and her son and now party chief Rahul Gandhi. The party is wary of its release scheduled on January 11, when campaigning would be at its peak for the 2019 general elections.

It is blaming the BJP for using the movie as a tacit campaign tool against the Gandhi family.

Congress ensuring The Accidental Prime Minister turns a box office success

1. Private mode

Congress-supported planks are making a beeline to prove their loyalty to the Gandhis. After Maharashtra Youth Congress, the Punjabi Cultural Heritage Board has now asked a ‘private viewing’ of the movie, alleging that the ex-PM has been maligned, his credibility hit.

2. Rahul, Manmohan mum

The Congress is grappling to contain the matter after itself launching the controversy. The cat is out of the bag and the Congress doesn’t know how to put it back. While Singh evaded questions on the movie, party president Rahul Gandhi’s evasion of questions from media only added fuel to the fire.

3. Threats

The Congress has turned into the new Karni Sena of India. The party threatened the producers of the upcoming movie with dire consequences if they refused to pre-screen the movie in front of party leaders for being edited according to their own wishes.

In a letter written to the producers of the movie, first accessed by MyNation, Maharashtra Youth Congress president Satyajeet Tambe Patil told them that if they did not submit the movie for pre-screening, they had "other options" to stop the airing of the movie across India and for which the producers would be responsible.

The reason for the high-handed demand of the Congress seems to be its unease with the way former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has been portrayed in the movie.

Tambe alleged the trailer of the movie betrayed that facts regarding ex-PM Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi had been twisted and that it needs to be created with the party before its formal launch.

4. Ban in Madhya Pradesh

The Congress is speaking in all sorts of languages, from liberal allowance to the movie and threats to scuttle its screening to castigating the BJP. After party leader Syed Zafar threatened not to let the movie released, spokesperson Randeep Surjewala had to clarify that the party would not meddle with the release. The damage, however, had been done, adding more wood to the already raging fire. Rumours hit the ceiling that the party would ban the release of the movie in newly-won Madhya Pradesh.