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HindustanTimes Fri,22 Aug 2014

Will work on taxation issues related to film industry if elected: Prakash Jha

Dibyojyoti Baksi, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, March 20, 2014
First Published: 10:12 IST(20/3/2014) | Last Updated: 10:47 IST(20/3/2014)

Film-maker Prakash Jha, who lost the 2004 and 2009 Lok Sabha elections as an independent and Lok Janshakti candidate respectively, from the West Champaran constituency in Bihar, is contesting from the same place this time as well.

However, he will be representing the Janata Dal United.

And though the director-turned-politician claims he will resolve issues connected to the film industry if he is elected, Jha adds that his priority will remain the development of his constituency.

What made you reconsider politics for the third time?
When Nitish ji (Nitish Kumar, CM of Bihar) told me to stand from Bihar, I reconsidered. The state, despite the fact that it has the highest growth rate in the country at this point of time, needs to take a leap (in terms of development). Also, we need to be strong at the centre. There was huge demand from my constituency as well. People felt that I should contribute.

Will your film career take a back seat now so that you can concentrate on the betterment of the state?
Not at all. I will be directing one or two films every year and my company is already producing four movies with others in 2014.

There are a number of issues troubling the film industry, like royalty for singers and lyricists. Will you take them up, if you become a Member of Parliament?
Since I am from the film industry, I will look at its betterment, including taxation and other issues. However, I am sort of bound to contribute to the development of my constituency and the state.

So, will you spending more time in your constituency now?
I don’t have to spend most of my time there. In any case, I visit Patna twice a month.  You have to have a system. I have been used to multitasking all my life.

Dealing with politicians

Earlier, the director told PTI that it was "time to deal with politicians". The filmmaker Prakash Jha further said that he had returned to politics because he felt the need to give pace to positive change in Bihar under Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.

"Bihar's condition has changed over the last few years and it is at a point of development from where it needs to jump forth with investments. I felt the need for political intervention to promote this environment of industry and entrepreneurship," Jha told reporters in Patna.

The film director has given Bollywood hits like Mrityudand, Gangajal, Apahran, Aarakshan and Rajneeti as well as the recent Satyagraha.

Jha had unsuccessfully contested as an Independent in 2004 and on LJP ticket in 2009 from the same Bettiah seat. He will contest against Sanjay Jaiswal of BJP and Raghunath Jha of RJD.

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