Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday said that the contribution of Rs 5 crore to the Army Welfare Fund by filmmakers was "never decided" at the meeting where he had mediated between Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray and director Karan Johar to ensure smooth release of Ae Dil Hai Mushkil.
Karan Johar's film Ae Dil Hai Mushkil had faced protests by MNS for casting Pakistani actor Fawad Khan.
The film's smooth release, scheduled to open on October 28, was ensured after a meeting among the Film Producers' Guild, the producers, and Raj Thackeray, mediated by Fadnavis last week.
It was agreed upon at the meeting the film makers would contribute Rs 5 crore to the army welfare fund, which sparked strong reactions from opposition and some army veterans.
Replying to a question whether he will monitor the filmmakers' contribution demanded by the MNS, now that the film has released, Fadnavis said, "Such a decision (filmmakers' contribution of Rs 5 crore) was never taken at the meeting. Even producers' guild chief Mukesh Bhat has said that I had told the producers that there was no compulsion to accept the MNS demand."
Under fire for "brokering" a deal between producers of Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and Raj Thackeray, Fadnavis had earlier said he had opposed the offer of Rs 5 crore contribution from the film makers to the Army Welfare Fund.
"When the issue of Rs 5 crore came up, I intervened and made it clear to the Film Producers' Guild that they need not have to agree to it. I also told them that the contribution has to be made voluntarily. However, it was the producers’ decision to accept it," Fadnavis had said explaining his stand.
Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, a romantic drama, which stars Ranbir Kapoor, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Anushka Sharma, got a smooth opening on Friday at theatres across the state.
Photograph: PTI Photo