Big B blasts Reds, media over Kerala row

via PNS | Kochi published on March 25, 2010

Amitabh Bachchan has termed “as petty act of cheap convenience” the CPI(M) decision not to allow the Kerala Government to appoint him as God’s Own Country’s tourism brand ambassador because of his connections with Gujarat and its Chief Minister Narendra Modi. In his 701st entry in the bigadda blog, the star said he would abide by the judgement of the Kerala Government in whatever decision it would take.

“You want to stop me from promoting tourism in a State, because you have reason to believe that there are political connotations to the event. This is such rubbish,” he wrote in the blog obviously in reference to the CPI(M) decision to disallow Kerala to make him brand ambassador. He also criticized the media in connection with the development saying that finding fault at any cost to any act or event was a common Indian media trait.

Big B’s criticism of the CPI(M) intolerance coincided with the decision of the CPI(M) Politbureau, meeting in Delhi, not to revoke the central party leadership’s earlier decision to disallow the Kerala Government to make the star its brand ambassador. Politbureau member had on March 19 told the media that the Kerala Government would not make Bachchan the State’s tourism ambassador.

Yechuri’s statement came after Bachchan wrote to Kerala Tourism Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, himself a PB member, accepting his invitation to represent Kerala Tourism. Kodiyeri’s act of inviting Bachchan without consulting the party and the ruling coalition and the central CPI(M) leadership’s act of unilaterally shooting down a decision taken by the State Government have already created dissent in the LDF.

Bachchan wrote in his blog: “All I shall be doing (as brand ambassador) will be working in a short film that shall highlight the various places of interest in the State…. And that is what I would precisely do when I would be asked to similar acts in Kerala… It (the objection) is a petty act of cheap convenience to prevent me from doing that.”

He said he did not ask for the position but the Kerala Government had invited him. “I shall abide by the judgement of the State Government. I did not ask them for it, they came forward with the invitation, I accepted, now they want to decline it, fine. Not the first time such incidents have happened,” he wrote in the blog, referring to the incident that took place in Goa during the International Film Festival.

He also criticized his critics for projecting him as an untouchable for his relations with the State of Gujarat, which had made him its brand ambassador. “You take umbrage at my association with Gujarat, but never have the guts or courage to stop a Ratan Tata or an Ambani from investing in the state…. Would you have the guts to tell them to not associate with the State, to pull out all their investment and man power they build through years and years of their ‘association’? I guess not,” he writes in the blog.

Responding to questions in connection with Bachchan’s blog, Minister Kodiyeri said he had nothing more to say about the matter than what he had said in the State Assembly the other day. He had told the Kerala Assembly that some sections had raised some objections to making Bachchan Kerala’s brand ambassador. He said the Government had not taken any formal decision to make him brand ambassador but had only extended an informal invitation.

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