After actor Aamir Khan’s contract as brand ambassador of the ‘Incredible India’ campaign ended, Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan is most likely to be the first choice of the government as the new face of the campaign.
According to media reports, a Tourism Ministry source said, “Amitabh Bachchan will be the first choice of the ministry for the job,” and actors such as Deepika Padukone, Akshay Kumar, and Priyanka Chopra are among those under consideration.
Describing the Sholay actor as a “non-controversial” figure, the source noted that Bachchan was the key face for promotion of tourism in Gujarat which has seen an “upsurge” after he was hired by the state.
Aamir Khan, whose “intolerance” remarks during an event in Delhi had invited flak from BJP and scores of people from across the country, ceases to be the mascot for the campaign as his contract has expired, tourism ministry clarified following media reports that government removed him from the campaign.
“It was the (private) agency which has hired him. Since the contract with the agency is no more, automatically the arrangement with the actor no longer exists,” Tourism Minister Mahesh Sharma had said yesterday.
Following the reports, Khan also stated that he respected the government’s decision to “discontinue” with his services while making it clear that he never charged anything for the ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’ campaign.
“It is the prerogative of the government to decide whether they need a brand ambassador for any campaign, and if so, who that ambassador should be,” Aamir said in a statement.
Asked about the PK star’s removal as the mascot of ‘Incredible India’ campaign, Bachchan also said Khan’s contract must have ended.
Bachchan said, “I think you need to clarify first whether he is being removed because of something that he may have said or it’s the end of his contract. I am sure that there must be some kind of difference there. I don’t think that people are removed just because they did not agree or said something that is controversial.”
Bachchan said he would not mind being a part of the campaign if asked. “ I would be more than willing to. I do a lot of this for a state and country and I will be happy if ever there is offer to do something,” he said.