Big B as ‘Incredible India’ ambassador? Coming soon

  • Suchetana Ray, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Apr 26, 2016 12:49 IST
Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan speaks during a press briefing. (PTI)

Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan is likely to replace Aamir Khan as the brand ambassador of the ‘Incredible India’ campaign, government sources said.

The announcement will be made in the next two days, sources said.

Bachchan had earlier said he had not been formally approached to become the face of the campaign launched in 2002 to promote tourism in India.

The reported move comes after months of speculation over the replacement of Khan, who was appointed in 2008.

The buzz over Khan’s sacking started after his remarks on alleged rising intolerance in India. But culture and tourism minister Mahesh Sharma had clarified that Khan featured in the campaign advertisements through McCann Erickson agency, whose contract had expired. And Khan was dropped as a result of that.

Read: Never been approached to be ‘Incredible India’ ambassador: Bachchan

Stars such as Priyanka Chopra and Akshay Kumar were also in the running for the job. Sources said Bachchan might not be the only celebrity face of the campaign. “He will be the main brand ambassador but there will be other celebrities as well,” said a source.

The 73-year-old Bachchan has endorsed tourism campaigns for the states of Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat.

Bachchan’s chances were thought to be hurt after the Panama papers expose that triggered a controversy. The actor has denied any wrongdoing.

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, along with some newspapers, had exposed a series of documents detailing how prominent politicians and celebrities across the world diverted money to avoid taxes through a Panamian law firm, Mossack Fonseca.

The expose named Bachchan, among others, as clients of the company.

Government sources had earlier said, “Yes, his name features in the Panama papers leaked by certain news organisations, but we don’t know if it is legitimate. That is a matter of investigation. Having money parked abroad is not a crime.”

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