National Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar on Thursday said that the Bharatiya Janata Party is spreading “false propaganda” by using the movie The Kashmir Files, reported PTI.

The Kashmir Files, released on March 11, is based on the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from the Valley in the 1990s.

“Such a film should not have been cleared for screening,” Pawar said, during a convention of the minorities department of NCP’s Delhi unit. “But it is given tax concessions and those responsible for keeping the country united are encouraging people to watch the film that stokes anger among people.”

Pawar said that Muslims were also made to leave Kashmir and that “Pakistan-based terror groups were responsible for attacks” on both Kashmiri Hindus and Muslims.

The NCP chief condemned BJP’s blaming of Jawaharlal Nehru for the exodus. He added that Vishwanath Pratap Singh, who was backed by the saffron party, was the prime minister at that time.

“Mufti Mohammad Sayeed was the home minister and Jagmohan [Malhotra], who later contested the Lok Sabha polls from Delhi as a BJP candidate, was the governor of Jammu and Kashmir,” he said, according to PTI.

Pawar said that if the Narendra Modi government cared about Kashmiri Pandits, it should work towards their rehabilitation instead of inciting people against minorities.

The director of The Kashmir Files, Vivek Agnihotri called Pawar a “hypocrite” for his remarks on the film.

In a tweet, Agnihotri claimed that Pawar had congratulated him for the film a few days ago. “Don’t know what happened to him in front of the media,” said Agnihotri. “Despite blatant hypocrisy, I respect him.”

Opposition leaders criticise the film

Several opposition leaders have questioned the factual accuracy of the movie.

Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala on March 17 asked Modi to rehabilitate Kashmiri Pandits instead of showing films that spread hatred and division in society.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in the state Assembly described the film as a conspiracy and said that it was “mostly fiction”.

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti accused the BJP-led Central government of weaponising the pain of Kashmiri Pandits.

Member of Parliament and All India United Democratic Front Chief Badruddin Ajmal demanded that the film be banned as it could stoke communal tensions between Hindus and Muslims.

On March 13, the Rashtriya Janata Dal Uttar Pradesh unit also tweeted that the film was propaganda.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, home minister Amit Shah and other senior leaders have endorsed the movie. Several states ruled by the party have given The Kashmir Files tax exemptions – and offered government employees leave from work to watch the film.