'PM Doesn't Need Sycophants': Minister Prasad Snubs Pahlaj Nihalani

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'PM Doesn't Need Sycophants': Minister Prasad Snubs Pahlaj Nihalani

On Censor board chief Pahlaj Nihalani's 'chamcha' remark, Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said PM "does not need sycophants". (File photo)


Mumbai: 

Highlights

  1. "I'm chamcha of PM Modi as Anurag Kashyap said," Pahlaj Nihalani had said
  2. "Such comments should be avoided," minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said
  3. Mr Nihalani denies censoring "Udta Punjab" under political pressure
In a snub for Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) chief Pahlaj Nihalani, union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has said Prime Minister Narendra Modi "does not need sycophants".

"Yes, I am a chamcha of Narendra Modi as Anurag Kashyap said. I am proud to be a Modi Chamcha. Should I be a chamcha of the Italian Prime Minister instead?" Mr Nihalani had said to NDTV earlier this week, amid widespread outrage over his censorship of Mr Kashyap's film "Udta Punjab".

"Such comments should be avoided. Our Prime Minister describes himself as the "pradhan sevak (one who serves the public) and I don't think the Pradhan sevak needs any sycophants," Mr Prasad said at an event organised by newspaper Indian Express.

Pahlaj Nihalani, a known BJP supporter, has been accused by other political parties and many top filmmakers of imposing 89 cuts on "Udta Punjab" at the behest of the BJP, which partners the Akali Dal in Punjab, where elections will be held early next year.

They allege that the Akali Dal wants to scuttle the film, based on drug abuse in Punjab, as it will reflect poorly on its governance over the last 10 years.   

Mr Nihalani has denied that he has censored "Udta Punjab" under political pressure, saying "The Centre never interferes with the Censor Board."

The Bombay High Court today reminded Mr Nihalani that the act that governs the board he heads, allows him only to certify films not to censor them.

The CBFC that Mr Nihalani heads has been taken to court by Phantom Films, the producer of Udta Punjab, who have objected to the deletions ordered by it.

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