Raees row: Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis assures smooth release of Shah Rukh Khan’s movie

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday said that any film certified by the Censor Board (CBFC) will be released without any hurdles.

According to an Indian Express report, Fadnavis said that there is no question of buckling under anybody’s pressure. “Any film which is certified by the Censor Board will be allowed a hassle-free release. My government will not allow anyone to disrupt the law and order in Maharashtra,” he said.

This comes days Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan assured Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) President Raj Thackeray that Mahira Khan, a Pakistani actress in his forthcoming release Raees will not come to India for promoting the film.

File image of Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis. PTI

File image of Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis. PTI

File image of Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis. PTI

“Shah Rukh Khan met Thackeray at his residence a short while ago and gave this assurance. He has also committed to not engaging any Pakistani actors in any of his future film ventures,” MNS Chitrapat Sena chief Ameya Khopkar told IANS.

Shah Rukh was concerned by rumours floating on social media networks that his co-star in Raees, Mahira Khan, was likely to come to India next month for promoting the film and joining its premiere.

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However, Shah Rukh put all rumours to rest and personally called on Thackeray to apprise him of the real situation, Khopkar said. In view of his clarifications, the MNS will not oppose the 25 January release or screening of Raees in cinema halls, he added.

Meanwhile, the state Congress slammed Fadnavis and asked whether Thackeray is running a parallel government in the state.

“Why should filmmakers run to Thackeray for getting ‘permission’ to release their films even though the Central Board for Film Certification had cleared them,” Mumbai Congress President Sanjay Nirupam said in a statement on Monday.

In the name of patriotism, some people resort to extortion, and the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government is keeping quiet,” Nirupam said.

“Yesterday (Sunday), Shah Rukh Khan went to meet him (Raj Thackarey) for permission to ensure the safe release of his upcoming film Raees, which has a Pakistani actress,” Nirupam said.

“Who is Raj Thackeray? What has gone wrong that even after a green signal from the film board, filmmakers are forced to knock on his doors for releasing their movies?” the Congress leader asked.

After 18 September Uri attack that left 19 Indian soldiers dead and the 28 September surgical strikes by India on Pakistan terror camps, the MNS had strongly protested against hiring of Pakistani actors by Indian film-makers.

Thackeray had vowed to stop the release of a few films in which Pakistani actors are playing roles, including Karan Johar’s recent Ae Dil Hai Mushkil featuring Pakistani actor Fawad Khan.

MNS had staged dramatic protests prior to the release of Ae Dil Hai Mushkil but finally relented after Fadnavis brokered peace with MNS, Johar and the Film & Television Producers Guild of India.

This paved the way for the film’s peaceful release and exhibition across Maharashtra on 28 October.

In 2013, SRK’s Chennai Express had run into trouble with the MNS after it allegedly threatened to yank off Marathi films to accommodate its shows in single-screen cinemas.

Prior to that, SRK’s blockbuster My Name Is Khan had run into trouble with the Shiv Sena but the issue was later amicably sorted out.

With inputs from agencies

First Published On : Dec 14, 2016 11:15 IST

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