Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati was in Mumbai on a mission.
Hoping to lure Bollywood producers to shoot in her state, she offered them tax cuts and subsidies upto Rs 2 million on Friday evening. Her package included guidelines to shoot in UP, financial assistance, discounts, accommodation and other facilities.
Mayawati also drew attention to the Taj Mahal, Buland Darwaza, Benaras Ghat and Chitrakoot as possible outdoor locations.
Prominent Bollywood film personalities at the meet included Akshay Kumar, Suniel Shetty, Anupam Kher, Arun Govil (teleserial Ramayana), Mehul Kumar (Tirangaa), Anil Sharma (Gadar, Hero -- Love Story of a Spy), actor-director Sanjay Khan (teleserial The Tale of Tipu Sultan), Pahalaj Nihalani (Talaash) and Shatrughan Sinha (union shipping minister and chairman, UP Film Development Corporation).
Mayawati also presented a cheque of Rs 1,00,000 to Vrunda Pusalkar, the 80-year-old ailing daughter of late film doyen Dadasaheb Phalke.
She said, "Thirty per cent of the revenue generated by Bollywood comes from UP, with its population of 170 million."
Replying to a question about whether her government, which has already faced two no-confidence motions in last 10 months, would remain in power to fulfil its commitment to Bollywood, she said, "There is no danger to my government. It is stable and will run its full term. These filmi people should not get scared. They should work here [UP]. We are providing facilities to Bollywood. How much advantage they want to take [of it] depends on them."
Mayawati stressed on UP's improved law and order situation: "Ever since my government has come to power, criminals are having sleepless nights. I have decided criminals should be inside the jail. The most important thing is law and order. So please come to UP without fear or hesitation."
Asked whether she was trying to hijack Amar Singh's -- the Samajwadi Party leader is known for his close friendship with several Bollywood personalities -- proximity to Bollywood, Mayawati said, "You are comparing my status with Amar Singh? He has never been an MP or an MLA. He is from the Rajya Sabha. First let him win elections."
When asked to name a film she liked, she said, "No particular film, but I like only those which inspire people."