The Gujarat government today termed as unfortunate Kerala's decision to back out of the proposal to make Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan its brand ambassador to promote tourism after extending an invitation.
"The CPI-M government's decision is unfortunate... There is some misunderstanding. Bachchan is not the brand ambassador of Gujarat but that of tourism," visiting Gujarat Tourism and Health Minister Jay Narayan Vyas told reporters here.
"Amitabh Bachchan is a star who has very few parallels in India. Bachchan and Sachin Tendulkar have achieved acclaim and success through hard work and talent. They are national talents and we should respect them," Vyas said.
Asked if Bachchan would be participating in Gujarat's golden jubilee celebrations to be held on May one, he said, "Bachchan being our brand ambassador does not need an invitation to come to Gujarat.
"When he endorses a brand, Bachchan verifies it thoroughly. If he has agreed to promote Gujarat tourism, it is due to its merits."
A few weeks ago, the Kerala government had invited Bachchan to become the brand ambassador for state tourism.
After he accepted the offer, CPI-M politburo member Sitaram Yechury came out strongly against the move, saying it would be inappropriate for a Left-ruled state to make a person its brand ambassador who was also a brand ambassador of Gujarat under Narendra Modi government.
On Gujarat being in the news for the wrong reasons with Modi making an appearance before the Supreme Court-appointed SIT in connection with post-Godhra riots case, Vyas said it was due to 'media compulsions'.
"No country or state can ever prosper if congenial atmosphere does not exist and no investments would flow into the state," he said.