After actor Amitabh Bachchan spoke about free speech and civil liberties at a Kolkata film festival, Bharatiya Janata Party members claimed that he was alluding to the post-poll violence in West Bengal last year. The Trinamool Congress, however, quickly retorted that the actor was referring to BJP’s boycott of arts, films and journalists.

At the 28th International Kolkata Film Festival on Thursday, Bachchan had said: “The 1952 Cinematograph Act set out the structure of censorship as it stands today upheld by the film certification board. But even now, ladies and gentlemen – and I am sure my colleagues on stage will agree – questions are being raised on civil liberties and freedom of expression.”

Soon after he made the statement, BJP’s social media cell chief Amit Malviya said that the actor’s words were “prophetic” since they were spoken in Kolkata with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee sharing the stage with him.

“It is like holding a mirror to the tyrant, under whose watch India witnessed the bloodiest post poll violence,” he said. “She has tarnished the image of Bengal….”

West Bengal had witnessed several incidents of post-poll violence involving supporters of the BJP and the Trinamool Congress following the Assembly election results on May 2. Various news reports put the toll between 11 and 14, but the police did not confirm the numbers.

Malviya’s tweet was followed by BJP leader Priti Gandhi, who asked on Twitter if Banerjee had acknowledged the actor’s statement on freedom of expression and civil liberties.

BJP national general secretary BL Santhosh also assumed that Bachchan’s statement was in solidarity with the post-poll violence of the victims.

“He hit the nail on the head with @MamataOfficial on his side,” Santosh said. “Thank you Amitabh Bachchan for standing for victims of political violence in West Bengal.”

Trinamool Congress reacted to BJP’s assumptions with its own interpretations.

On Malviya’s comment, Lok Sabha MP Nussrat Jahan said that tyrannical rule involves banning movies, detaining journalists and punishing citizens for speaking the truth.

She said that while this has happened under the BJP rule, Malviya was accusing others of tyranny.

Party spokesperson Saket Gokhale said that Bachchan was talking about Modi and Shah.

“He could express them freely in Bengal in presence of the tigress Mamata Banerjee and not in Delhi or Mumbai,” he said in response to Malviya’s tweet.

Gokhale also called Malviya a “fake new coolie” who lacks the “IQ to comprehend” what was said.

Trinamool MP Mahua Moitra also said that Bachchan used the Kolkata film festival platforms to rebuke BJP’s boycott of arts.

Bachchan, however, has not clarified what exactly he meant through his comments.