In a sensational escalation of the controversy surrounding the impending release of Rajinikanth-starrer Kaala in Karnataka, the newly-installed Chief Minister of the state, HD Kumaraswamy, has opposed the release.
Speaking to reporters, Kumaraswamy, who met Rajinikanth's fellow actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan, on Monday said:
"I have to implement whatever direction given by the High Court. That I will take care. That is my responsibility also. We have to follow the High Court judgment...direction. But according to my observation, as an individual, as a Kannadaiga, I request the producer of the movie or distributor of the movie... in this kind of atmosphere it is not good on their part to release the movie, according to me. Even if they release the movie, I know, I'm an experienced person. I am also a film distributor and producer. It will not be useful to them financially. Why by releasing the movie they want to create a controversy? After we get a solution in this water issue then they can release anytime"
Kumaraswamy added: "Film Chamber of Commerce of Karnataka and Kannada organisations are very much opposing the release of the movie. They (Kaala's makers) must oblige the opposition."
Kumaraswamy's statement comes after, and refers to, the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce (KFCC) deciding to ban the release of Kaala in the state based on objections by pro-Kannada groups over Rajinikanth deciding to side with his state Tamil Nadu in the Cauvery water-sharing dispute. The groups had said that they wouldn't allow Kaala's release even if Rajinikanth apologised.
The Film Federation of India has requested the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce (KFCC) to expedite the release of the movie in the state, while Dhanush, the actor son-in-law of Rajinikanth who is also a producer of Kaala, approached the Karnataka High Court's seeking protection for theatres screening the film.
Kaala is scheduled to release on June 7.