Tanushree Datta controversy threatens to take on parochial colour

Mumbai, March 29 The Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) has taken strong exception to allegations of 'indecent behaviour' levelled against Bollywood actor Nana Patekar by upcoming star Tanushree Datta.

Saturday, March 29, 2008 | 8:34:48 PM IST (+05:30 GMT)
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Mumbai, March 29 (IANS) The Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) has taken strong exception to allegations of 'indecent behaviour' levelled against Bollywood actor Nana Patekar by upcoming star Tanushree Datta.

The MNS has written letters to different associations of cine producers to 'blacklist' Tanushree for accusing a senior actor like Nana of bad behaviour during the shooting of an item number for the movie 'Horn O.K. Pleassse' on Wednesday.

The organisation, which was recently in the news for its violence against the north Indians living in Mumbai, has threatened to agitate against the actress if she does not give an unconditional apology to the actor, whom it describes as the 'pride of Maharashtra'.

Meanwhile, producer of 'Horn O.K. Pleassse,' Sami Siddiqui, filed a complaint Saturday with the Association of Motion Picture and TV Programme Producers (AMPTPP) against Tanushree.

He alleged that his production firm, Sunshine Pictures Pvt. Ltd, incurred a heavy loss because the actress failed to complete shooting for the item song being filmed on her and Nana.

In his complaint, Siddiqui also stated that the goodwill of his production firm was tarnished because Tanushree went to the media saying that she was 'coerced' by director Rakesh Sarang and choreographer Ganesh Acharya to do steps in the item song she did not feel comfortable doing.

Acting quickly on the complaint, the AMPTPP dashed off a letter to the actress, asking her to pay a compensation of Rs.65 million. This would include Rs.15 million to Sunrise Pictures Pvt. Ltd. and Rs.50 million for defaming it in public.

Sunrise Pictures Pvt. Ltd. had signed Tanushree for Rs.1.5 million for the item number to be shot over four days. She had been paid an advance of Rs.500,000.

According to Siddiqui, he as well as Sarang and Acharya had explained to Tanushree what her steps would be in the dance number.

'She had agreed to it,' Siddiqui said.

'They (Sarang and Acharya) also agreed when she requested them not to compel her to wear a costume she would not be comfortable with. So we were surprised when she walked out of the sets on the last day of the shooting (March 26) after taking part in it for two days,' Siddiqui told IANS Saturday.

On Friday, Tanushree shot off a letter to the Cine and Television Artistes' Association (CINTAA) explaining the sequence of events that led to her stomping out of the sets and the scuffle that subsequently took place between media persons present on the sets and her secretary.

In her letter, the actress also referred to the 'unbecoming' manner in which Nana Patekar behaved with her during shooting of the item number on the first day and why she felt the need to ask her parents and her secretary to be present during the shoots later.

CINTAA is yet to act on her letter, but it is likely to ask Patekar for his explanation.

It is rarely that a member of a cine association complains against a fellow member. In this case, what makes it unique is that an upcoming star has lodged a serious complaint against a senior member at the risk of her budding career.

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