Her next big show is ready to go on air on May 11 at 7 pm on Imagine. But apparently, it still doesn’t have a male lead. The reason- the producers, Balaji Telefilms, approached several actors, including their once favourite Iqbal Khan, and most of them have failed to fit the bill.
“Iqbal had almost been finalised to play the lead. He was extremely elated to come back to the banner. But when Ekta (Kapoor) discovered that her team had approached him and nearly signed him on, she threw a fit. She immediately decided not to cast him and keep him out of the picture completely. He walked out of Karam Apna Apna and didn’t seem interested in working with Ekta after that. He had even spread a negative word for her back in the day. So, the war between them actually continues,” says a source from the channel.
Khan, after trying several times over, didn’t revert to us with his version of the story. He was last seen as the male protagonist in Waaris on Zee TV, the show produced by Smriti Irani.
In denial mode
However, when asked, Ekta Kapoor the head honcho at Balaji Telefilms, without accepting or denying the rumour, says that since she’s not handling the show, she’s unaware of whom her creative team had approached for the role.
“I was not involved in the casting at all. Prashant Bhatt from the team handles it. And honestly, Balaji, as a listed company, can choose to work with anyone, regardless of whether I like or dislike the person or whether I want to or don’t want to work with the person on any of the shows,” states Kapoor.
Meanwhile Nikhil Madhok, vice president, marketing and communications, Imagine, says the show has both its protagonists in place.
“Pooja Bose plays Swara, the lavni dancer around whom the show is built. Mushtaba is our male protagonist. We took a while to freeze the male lead of Sarvagun Sampanna because we couldn’t find anyone appropriate. But now, we have found our man. He has been reporting to the shoot in Kolhapur for the last seven days. The show will continue to be shot there for a while, after which we will shift it to the Mumbai studios,” he adds.
When asked about the rumour regarding dumping Iqbal Khan shortly before the show’s launch, he says that he’s unaware of the development.
“I haven’t been informed about this. So, without knowing what the matter is, I cannot comment on it,” replies Madhok.
Sarvagun Sampanna is the story of a lavni dancer, Swara, from Kolhapur. She falls for a guy from a rich and a powerful political family in Kolhapur and the couple marries, keeping her profession from his family.
The show, that also toplines Nivedita Saraf, Abhinav Kohli, Sunil Godse, Anurag Nigam and Tanvi Thakkar, will be Imagine’s competition in the 7 pm slot with Star Plus’ newly launched Saath Nibhaana Saathiya and a year-old show on Colors, Bhagyavidhata.
Kapoor launched Khan in Kaisa Yeh Pyaar Hai on Sony. He apparently couldn’t get along with co-star Neha Bamb though they both continuously denied it.
His next was Kavyajanli and Kahiin To Hoga for Balaji Telefilms, both of which aired on Star Plus.
Karam Apnaa Apna, another Star Plus-Balaji show, was his last for Kapoor after which he decided to go his way. Khan, after moving on, reportedly made some stark remarks about Kapoor and her way of working, which he didn’t like.
The two haven’t worked together after that show and the reported spat.