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Vijay-starrer Mersal's Telugu Release Put Off, But Producers Deny Cuts

The film had questioned the implementation of the GST and the obsession with the digital mode of payment, eliciting a discordant note from the BJP.

Updated:October 27, 2017, 8:58 AM IST
Vijay-starrer Mersal's Telugu Release Put Off, But Producers Deny Cuts
A still of actor Vijay from Mersal.
New Delhi: Producers of Vijay-starrer Tamil movie Mersal denied making cuts to the film’s Telugu version to placate BJP leaders who had objected to certain scenes perceived as mocking the GST and Digital India initiatives.

Mersal, titled Adhirindhi in Telugu, was scheduled to hit 400 screens across Andhra Pradesh and Telangana on Friday, but its screening was postponed after the Telugu version didn't receive clearance from the Central Board for Film Certification.

This led to speculation that the producers had decided to remove the controversial scenes from the Telugu version, but the production house clarified on Friday that the delay in release was “procedural”.

In a tweet, Aditi Ravindranath, the executive producer and marketing head at Sri Thenandal Films, said:

Ravindranath, however, clarified that the movie's Telugu version will not be releasing on Friday.

The president of BJP’s Tamil Nadu unit Tamilisai Soundararajan had demanded that producers weed out the controversial scenes from the film. "I object to certain scenes in Vijay's movie 'Mersal'. Certain scenes project GST and Digital India in a bad light and we want these scenes removed. Vijay has political ambitions and that is the reason why these scenes are there in the movie," she added.

In response to the BJP's demand to remove what it calls "untruths" about GST and Digital India, actor Vijay's father SA Chandrashekar had also questioned BJP’s opposition to the scenes when the censor board had cleared the film.

Superstar Kamal Haasan, who is himself flirting with the idea of joining politics, came out in support of the film, saying those opposed to the film must “counter criticism with a logical response”.

Actor Vijay, in a statement, recently, thanked fans and supporters for standing by him. "There was also some opposition to 'Mersal', which is a hit. As a response to that, my friends from the film world ie actors and actresses, directors, bodies like SIAA (South Indian Artistes Association) and TFPC (Tamil Film Producers Council) and popular leaders at national level, state political leaders and political representatives extended big support to me and the 'Mersal' crew," he said in the statement.

The film has shattered records at the box office, reportedly making over Rs 150 crore in its opening week.

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