James vs The Kashmir Files: No Obstacles for Kannada Film, Says Bommai | Latest India News
Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai has said there will be no impediment to the screening of late Kannada actor Puneeth Rajkumar’s latest feature film, ‘James’. His comments come after controversy over Congress’s claim that James was forced out of theaters to host the controversial Hindi film ‘The Kashmir Files’.
Speaking to reporters in Bengaluru, Bommai said, “I spoke to the Film Chamber in this regard. If there is a problem with James’ screening, the producers and theaters involved have the authority to fix the issue. I also spoke to actor Shivarajkumar (brother and actor of Rajkumar). I asked him to bring it to my attention or to the attention of the Film Chamber in case of any problems. They too accepted.
Controversy erupted on Tuesday after Karnataka’s opposition leader Siddaramaiah claimed that some BJP politicians and party workers were forcing theaters to screen The Kashmir Files instead.
In a series of tweets, Siddaramaiah explained, “Legislators and @BJP4Karnataka activists are pressuring theaters to stop showing late Puneeth Rajkumar’s latest film, ‘James’ for ‘The Kashmiri Files’.” According to reports, Kishore Pathikonda, the producer of James, met Siddaramaiah on Monday evening.
“The producers of the film have already reserved the rooms and paid a deposit. Interrupting the screening of James to show The Kashmir Files is harassment,” he said.
Siddaramaiah also asked the government to exempt James from tax, as he had done with The Kashmir Files. Siddaramaiah also demanded that the government exclude James from paying taxes, as he had done with The Kashmir Files.
However, Bommai dismissed allegations that BJP MPs coerced theater owners. “Congressional leaders have sunk low enough to even politicize movies,” he said.
The allegations gained momentum after ‘James’ Pathikonda producer claimed many theaters had urged him to reduce showings to accommodate other films, but he declined to name them. “I don’t know if and from whom these theater owners are being pressured,” he told reporters on Wednesday.
Shivarajkumar on Thursday refuted Congress leader Siddaramaiah’s allegation that the movie “James” is being pulled from cinema screens for “The Kashmir Files.”
“There is no connection between The Kashmir Files’ and James’ because this matter is not for discussion. The Kashmir Files’ is currently running in theaters. Appaji (Dr Rajkumar) and my mother we learned not to interfere in showing good movies,” he told reporters here.
However, Shivarajkumar said that ‘James’ producer Kishore Pathikonda had screening issues with S Rajamouli’s Telugu film ‘RRR’. “My concern is that RRR is being screened in major centers in Kannada like Navarang where ₹20 to ₹A collection of 22 lakh takes place. Shivanna and I met with the Chief Minister and he asked us to meet with the Film Chamber to sort out the issue,” Pathikonda said in a statement on Thursday.