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|March 27, 2001||
A controversy has broken out over the National Film Awards for 2000 with director Pradeep Krishan and two others quitting the Feature Film Jury alleging interference by a "cynical political cartel" turning the whole affair "into a farce".
"A cynical political cartel in the Jury bulldozed its way as it had pre-decided many of the awards", said Krishan. He quit on Sunday along with cinematographer Shashi Anand and Odissi dancer Madhumita Raut.
At least four of the 129 films which were unanimously rejected by the 17-member jury went on to win major awards including Daman, for which Raveena Tandon got the Best Actress Award, adding Pukar, for which Anil Kapoor was adjudged the Best Actor, was not not even screened fully for the jury.
Claiming that Raveena had campaigned for BJP during the last elections and her uncle Macmohan was on the jury, Krishan said, "My conscience could not not allow me to continue... I was naive enough not to know the connections of some of the jury members."
The jury headed by Vyjayanthimala Bali, who had, some time ago, quit the Congress to join the BJP, has, among its members Tarun Vijay, editor of Pachjanya, the RSS mouthpiece.
However, Krishan said that the jury had selected some of the films which, "I would have supported."
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