After doling out a very special favour to actress Madhuri Dixit by exempting her latest film ‘Dedh Iskiya’ from entertainment tax in the state, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has now also announced a similar concession for Salman Khan’s Jai Ho.
The move is clearly seen as an extended quid pro quo for the dance performance rendered by the two superstars at the recent cultural festival in Saifai, the home of UP’s ruling Mulayam Singh Yadav -- Akhilesh Yadav duo.
Whatever was paid to the actors has been skillfully kept under wraps after the raging controversy over the high-profile extravaganza in the name of the annual Saifai cultural festival at a time when thousands of communal riot-hit victims were still languishing in the relief camps set up in Muzaffarnagar and Shali districts.
The Akhilesh Yadav government’s decision for declaring Jai Ho tax free was declared on Saturday evening.
“The exemption has been given only for three months on 200 prints exhibited across UP”, principal secretary, Entertainment Tax Veeresh Kumar said. According to him, “The period of three months could be extended in case exhibitors were not able to show 200 prints over a week.”
He however declined to comment on the extent of loss that the concession was going to causeto the state exchequer.
Tax exemption to Dedh Ishliya was announced on the very day Dixit was to perform in Saifai. The largesse to Salman got delayed because of second thoughts that the UP government had after the actor was seen flying kites with Gujarat chief minister and the Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial nominee Narendra Modi.
The move also seen as a part of the ruling Samajwadi Party’s overt baiting of the minority community on whom the party was banking much of its hope to hoist its chief Mulayam Singh Singh Yadav on the prime minister’s chair.