Joined: 21 June 2005
Amitabh Bachchan will not be invited to attend the prestigious International Film Festival of India (IFFI) to be held later this year in Goa, following strict instructions given by the Congress high command.
The reason: the Bachchan family's close links with the Samajwadi Party. Hence, Congress president Sonia Gandhi doesn't want to give a 'platform' to the Big B during the IFFI.
Big B not attending
For the second consecutive time, Big B's name has been deleted from the list of invitees. Last year, the Goa government had invited Amitabh to inaugurate the 37th edition of IFFI, but Sonia Gandhi directed the government (led by Pratapsingh Rane) to withdraw the invitation.
Goa has been declared the permanent venue to host the high-profile event. It was Goa Chief Minister, Pratapsingh Rane, who invited Big B last year and later had to withdraw the superstar's invitation.
According to official sources, the Entertainment Society of Goa (ESG) — state-owned nodal agency organising the festival — has shortlisted the names of invitees for the 38th edition of IFFI. "We have listed out the names of invitees and Amitabh Bachchan's name doesn't figure in it," said a senior official, on the condition of anonymity.
KANK to be screened
Sources disclosed that celebrities like Shah Rukh Khan, Hrithik Roshan, John Abraham, Bipasha Basu, Rani Mukerji and Priety Zinta are expected to attend the festival along the banks of the Mandovi river in Panaji.
Interestingly, Karan Johar's Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna, which also stars Amitabh Bachchan, is likely to be screened during the 11-day festival.
While controversies continue to engulf IFFI preparations, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders have snubbed Congress' political mind in choosing invitees. "The Congress government, both at the Centre and state.," said Rajendra Arlekar, BJP President (Goa unit).
Politicising the event
It was BJP's technocrat chief minister, Manohar Parrikar, who brought the IFFI to the tourist-centric Goa. "The IFFI has brought developments of international standard and the state is now compared to Cannes. But the Congress' politicising the film festival over the selection of invitees is a cheap thing," said Arlekar.
The 38th IFFI will be inaugurated on November 23 and end December 3. It is learnt that Hollywood stars are also going to attend the international film festival.
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