As questions were raised over several Censor Board members having BJP links, its new chief Pahlaj Nihalani, a film maker, today said he was proud to be a "BJP person" and called Prime Minister Narendra Modi as his "action hero".
At the same time, Nihalani, who was the brain behind the BJP's campaign video 'Har Har Modi, Ghar Ghar Modi' in the run up to the general elections last year, said he will work the "best way" to avoid any controversy.
The comments by Nihalani, who was named as the new Chairperson of Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) yesterday, came even as the government defended its appointments, saying the idea was to have a "mix of all".
"I am proud to say I am a BJP person. I believe in BJP. Narendra Modi is the voice of the nation....He is my action hero. He is a visionary person," Nihalani told NDTV.
Talking to PTI, Nihalani said he will strictly enforce the guidelines of the Censor board.
"In my long experience in the film industry, I have seen that only healthy films with strong social message are a hit with the audience. As the chairman of Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), I will try to strictly enforce the guidelines laid down for the board," he said.
"I will also try to strike a balance between the industry and the board," he added.
Pahlaj, 65, has produced films like "Aankhen", "Talaash: The Hunt Begins..." and "Shola Aur Shabnam" in his career.
The statutory board, under the Information and Broadcasting ministry, was rocked last week over the resignation of Leela Samson as its chief and nine other members alleging government interference.
Pahlaj, however, blamed Samson for kicking up a controversy. "All through her tenure she barely attended office and did not take any initiative to improve the working of the board," Pahlaj said.
"The idea is to have a mix of all," Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore said in New Delhi. Although the minister agreed that a couple of persons who were inducted into the CBFC were part of BJP, he rejected charges that the NDA government was following in the footsteps of its predecessors in selecting party loyalists to be members of the body.
Among those nominated as members of CBFC are BJP leader Vani Tripathi Tikoo, Vice Chancellor of Central University of Gujarat, Professor Syed Abdul Bari, filmmakers Chandra Prakash Dwivedi and Ashoke Pandit and film-writer Mihir Bhuta.
Apart from Tikoo, there are several others with a BJP connection.
Actor George Baker contested on a BJP ticket from Howrah in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Tamil playwright S Ve Sekhar joined BJP a couple of years ago and actor-filmmaker Jeevitha, too, had entered BJP last year.