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'Mukkabaaz' over Anurag Kashyap movie

The BJP has slammed filmmaker Anurag Kashyap for seeking grant for two of his movies from the Uttar Pradesh government but ET has found that it was the Yogi Adityanath government which approved the script of 'Mukkabaaz', making it eligible for a grant, and had earlier approved 'Saand Ki Aankh' for tax-free status.

, ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Jan 13, 2020, 09.16 AM IST
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UP's film policy was framed in 2015 under the Akhilesh Yadav regime to offer incentives to Hindi filmmakers for shooting in UP.

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New Delhi: The BJP has slammed filmmaker Anurag Kashyap for seeking grant for two of his movies from the Uttar Pradesh government but ET has found that it was the Yogi Adityanath government which approved the script of 'Mukkabaaz', making it eligible for a grant, and had earlier approved 'Saand Ki Aankh' for tax-free status.

A state government document accessed by ET shows that on December 16 last year, a committee under state government approved the script of 30 more films, making them eligible for the grant. These included a film on cow protection (Gau Raksha, Ek Nayi Pahal), another on Baba Gorakhnath (Mahima Baba Gorakhnath Ki) and one on BJP’s Azamgarh Lok Sabha candidate Dinesh Yadav Nirahua (Nirahua, the leader nahi sewak).

BJP state spokesman Shalabh Mani Tripathi and national spokesman Amit Malviya tweeted on Saturday last week that Kashyap was critical of BJP and the Citizenship Amendment Act because the UP government had not released money for his "flop movies" 'Mukkabaaz' and 'Saand Ki Aankh'. They said Kashyap earlier got a dole of Rs 2 crore from the previous Akhilesh Yadav government for his film 'Masaan'.

The document reviewed by ET, however, shows it was the script committee under the Adityanath government which approved the script of 'Mukkabaaz' on June 11, 2018, making it eligible for a grant under the UP Film Policy, subject to fulfilment of certain conditions. Under this policy, films shot in UP are eligible for incentives up to Rs 2 crore, provided their script is approved by the state. In October 2019, the UP cabinet had exempted ‘Saand Ki Aankh’ from taxes. The state government had also released money for 22 films in July, including Rs 43 lakh for 'Anarkali of Aarah', starring Swara Bhaskar who has also been a vocal critic of BJP and CAA. The other films on the list included 'Sonu Ke Titu Ke Sweety' (Rs 41 lakh), 'Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana' (Rs 1.15 crore) and 'Mukti Bhawan' (Rs 3.28 lakh).

UP's film policy was framed in 2015 under the Akhilesh Yadav regime to offer incentives to Hindi filmmakers for shooting in UP. The Adityanath government made the policy even more attractive in 2018, extending it to films shot in UP in any language, including English. “Films are given grant under the policy on merit. Many officers in a committee look at this. The state government does not want to enter into any controversy,” Shishir, director (information), UP, told ET. In response to the BJP’s charge, Kashyap referred to the state’s film policy, explaining that ‘Masaan’ got the grant under it while he was not the producer of ‘Mukkabaaz’ but the director and hence would not receive the grant himself.

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