‘Udta Punjab’ flies into row over co-producer Sameer Nair’s AAP-link

Mumbai-based media entrepreneur and former Star CEO Sameer Nair, co-producer of controversial movie ‘Udta Punjab’, has been associated with Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
The Shahid Kapoor-starrer themed on Punjab’s drug menace and scheduled for June 17 release, has run into trouble with the film censor board, which has demanded 89 cuts(HT Photo)
The Shahid Kapoor-starrer themed on Punjab’s drug menace and scheduled for June 17 release, has run into trouble with the film censor board, which has demanded 89 cuts(HT Photo)
Updated on Jun 11, 2016 02:08 PM IST
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Hindustan Times | By, Chandigarh

Mumbai-based media entrepreneur and former Star CEO Sameer Nair, co-producer of controversial movie ‘Udta Punjab’, has been associated with Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

It emerged on Friday that Nair (51) had joined the AAP in October 2013 to bolster it Delhi assembly election campaign. “Sameer Nair joins AAP. Helping us with our communications. Thank so much Sameer ji,” Kejriwal had tweeted.

Also read: Artists, industry veterans to ‘Udta Punjab’s’ defence

The Shahid Kapoor-starrer themed on Punjab’s drug menace and scheduled for June 17 release, has run into trouble with the film censor board, which has demanded 89 cuts, including all references to the state, besides dropping its name from the title. The matter is now in the Bombay high court but the movie trailer has triggered a war of words in Punjab over the drug issue. The ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) accused the film of “tarnishing the image of Punjab and Punjabis” and even hinted that the AAP had funded the project with an eye on the state election due early next year.

Also read: Govt has nothing to do with censor decision on ‘Udta Punjab’: Sukhbir Badal

In the official trailer, Nair figures among seven producers. Quick to ferret out his past connection with the AAP, the SAD went ballistic, touting it as “an irrefutable proof of the AAP hand” in the movie. “The cat is out of the bag,” said Jangveer Singh, media adviser of deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal. Asking the Kejriwal outfit to come clean, Jangveer said: “Politics is being played in the name of drugs. The AAP’s contention that it has nothing to do with the film has fallen flat.”

Contacted by HT, AAP’s Punjab affairs in-charge Sanjay Singh denied his party’s link with the movie. “I know he (Sameer Nair) is one of the producers of ‘Udta Punjab’ but he left the party after the 2014 Lok Sabha elections and is not working for us in any capacity,” he said.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Pawan Sharma, based in Chandigarh, is Punjab’s Chief-of-Bureau, Hindustan Times. In the past 16 years, stints in Delhi and Himachal Pradesh including, he has done high-impact stories on Tibetan affairs, judiciary, politics and corruption in governments.

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