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Prakash Jha is not planning Raajneeti sequel

Contrary to speculations sparked off by an open ending, Raajneeti 2 is not on the cards. Director Prakash Jha is now directing Aarakshan, starring Big B, Devgn, Manoj Bajpai.
By Roshmila Bhattacharya | Hindustan Times, Mumbai
UPDATED ON JUN 23, 2010 12:03 PM IST
Contrary to speculations sparked off by an open ending, Raajneeti 2 is not on the cards. "I’m not even thinking of a sequel," insists director Prakash Jha. He’s already moved on to Aarakshan that, as the title suggests, is on the "reservation of opportunities," says Jha enigmatically.

Ajay Devgn has been confirmed as the lead. Another actor from the Raajneeti cast who stages a comeback in Aarakshan is Manoj Bajpai. Veeru bhaiyya admits though that he can never be as close to Jha as his favourite Devgn. “And there’s little I can do about this, except stand at a distance and feel envious about the chemistry they share,” jokes Bajpai.

Amitabh Bachchan, with whom, Jha says he’s been “talking about doing a film for a long time”, has been signed on for a significant part of a politician. Bajpai is as excited as his director, to be sharing screen space with Bachchan, with whom he co-starred in Aks (2001) nine years ago, and looking forward to chatting with him about his days in Allahabad and at the Delhi University.

Bajpai adds that a little birdy has been tweeting to him that Raajneeti’s Indu could be in Aarakshan too. Jha says that he has yet to narrate the script to Katrina Kaif, who is away in Spain, but is “hopeful she will be in the film”.

Jha took five years to script Apaharan (2005), six to complete Raajneeti (2010) and spent eight years writing Gangaajal (2003). He’s been working on the script of Aarakshan for the last three years and is reportedly ready with a third draft, even though he is likely to continue improvising while shooting. The film goes on the floors this winter on real locations in Bhopal. Even though he is reticent on the subject, the film will undoubtedly touch on the burning issue of job reservations and student politics.

Meanwhile, tonight, the Raajneeti team meets at Juhu’s Hotel Novotel to raise a toast to the film’s success. Raajneeti continues to draw audiences even in its third week.

According to trade analyst Amod Mehra, the film is a “hit” and should make a net profit of Rs 10 crore.

A part of its revenue however, has been eaten by the video pirates. In fact, just last week, some BJP MLAs were caught watching a pirated copy of the film at a party meeting in Jaipur. A livid Jha has threatened to sue.

“We’ve been trying to check this menace of piracy, but it’s difficult to enforce the law when people are downloading movies on the net, buying DVDs from the open market, showing films illegally on the cable television network. Even lawmakers are watching pirated prints. It’s convenient for the police, the administrative machinery and even the aam janta (common man) to turn a blind eye to the problem that looms large before the film industry. It’s a constant struggle for us,” he sighs.

Will it be the subject of his next film? He retorts, “It’s too small a subject.”

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