Maharashtra Government drops the idea to make superstar Aamir Khan as the brand ambassador of ‘Jalyukta Shivar’ last minute after backlash from BJP supporters on social media.
For undoing the damage created by the furore over Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and Hyderabad Central University (HCU) controversies BJP led Maharashtra government had planned to appoint Aamir Khan as the brand ambassador of ‘Jalyukt Shivar’ project an initiative to make the state drought free. However, the government had to rethink its decision after a backlash from BJP supporters from social media as they tweeted about Aamir’s intolerance remarks which had created a huge controversy in the country earlier. The #IntoleranceIndia was trending on social media.
According to sources in CMO, “Government has decided to drop the idea to appoint Aamir Khan as Brand Ambassador and we are searching for some other celebrity.”
“Yes, it’s true that we had finalized Aamir’s name, but in the morning CM had asked us to put his name on hold for the project,” said the source.
Aamir Khan was present in Make in India event and was scheduled to perform but the programme was cancelled after fire erupted at the venue.
When asked about the development from BJP an office bearer, on the condition of anonymity said, “To please somebody we can’t invite the ire of our supporters. However, we are contacting other celebrities who can be appointed as ambassador for ‘Jalyukt Shivar’. “
However, Chief Minister has another reason to say. He denied the reports and said, “The reports of Khan to be made the brand ambassador for ‘drought-free Maharashtra’ was not true. Several regions of Maharashtra is witnessing drought. I appreciate the efforts of Aamir Khan’s Paani Foundation which will work with the state government for resolving the water scarcity problem.”
Officials said they were in talks with Khan since May last year and the actor was keen on working with the state government. Khan had also contributed Rs. 11 lakh to the chief minister’s relief fund as donation to the scheme in 2015.
Earlier, BJP had terminated Aamir Khan’s contract for the ‘Incredible India’ campaign after the actor had made controversial comments on the issue of intolerance. The actor had said that his wife Kiran Rao was so concerned that she had even thought about relocating from India. Khan and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis were expected to make a joint announcement of the initiative at the government guesthouse on Wednesday.
Fadnavis had launched the water conservation project within a couple of months after he occupied office in 2014. The project was reportedly discussed with the Bollywood superstar in May last year.
Under the “Jalyukta Shivar” project, water conservation projects were planned in 25,000 villages reeling under drought across Maharashtra are. In the first phase, the government completed 1.20 lakh works in 6,200 villages. The second phase will be rolled out in 5,000 drought-prone villages.