After the controversy regarding Bollywood actor Aamir Khan's contract being 'cancelled' hit the news, the story of veteran actor Amitabh Bachchan replacing the Lagaan star made rounds.
Now, aside from Khan and Bachchan fans, it appears that the Prime Minister's Office is taking an unusual interest in Tourism Ministry's 'Incredible India!' campaign.
According to an article in The Indian Express, Nripendra Mishra, principal secretary to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, allegedly called up Union Tourism Minister Mahesh Sharma on Thursday, and asked him to provide the details of Khan's contract of 10 years, as well as the chronology of the Atiti Devo Bhava campaign.
In fact, Mishra allegedly demanded that the information be submitted on the same day.
This could get slightly complicated, as in an earlier statement to PTI, Sharma had clarified that the ministry had not hired Khan for the campaign, but an agency had.
"Our contract was with the McCann Worldwide agency for Atithi Devo Bhava campaign. The agency had hired Aamir for the job. Now the contract with the agency is over. The ministry has not hired Aamir. It was the agency which has hired him. Since the contract with the agency is no more, automatically the arrangement with the actor no longer exists."
Khan had released a statement to PTI, saying:
“I respect the decision of the government to discontinue with my services. I am sure they will take all appropriate steps to do what is best for the country. I was happy to be of service to my country, and will always be available for it. I would like to clarify that all public service films I have done till date have all been free of any cost to me. It is always an honour for me to be of service to my country, and this is how it will always be.
"Whether I am brand ambassador or not, India will remain Incredible, and that’s the way it should be,” Khan said.
As of Friday, the PMO has declined to confirm whether the report had been dispatched or not, reported IE.
According to recent television news reports, Bachchan is going to head the hugely popular 'Incredible India!' campaign. Currently, he is the ambassador for Gujarat Tourism.
The decision to replace Khan has come only a couple of months after he and his wife Kiran Rao voiced their opinions about growing intolerance in India.
In November, Khan had stated that his wife Rao had asked him if they should move out of India, as she was worried about the safety of their children in an intolerant and insecure society.
Now with the news that the security of more than 40 Bollywood celebrities including Khan, would be trimmed, Congress has reignited the 'intolerance' debate and alleged that the actor was paying the cost for expressing his opinion against Modi Government.
But such reports were dismissed by the Mumbai Police.
— Mumbai Police (@MumbaiPolice) January 8, 2016
(With agency inputs)
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