NEW DELHI: The controversy over the “Incredible India” campaign after actor Aamir Khan ceased to be its brand ambassador triggered a war of words on Friday at the meeting of the parliamentary standing committee for tourism, culture and transport, sources said.
The panel, headed by Trinamool Congress MP K D Singh, asked the tourism ministry for a report on the entire issue in ten days.
According to sources, since tourism secretary Vinod Zutshi was present at the meeting, Congress member Kumari Selja raised the issue, asking details of what was being planned for ‘Incredible India’ in the wake of reports that the government is looking for a new face to lead the campaign. Some reports cited Amitabh Bachchan as among the front-runners to replace Aamir.
Latching on to Selja’s query, CPM MP Ritabrata Banerjee asked a pointed question on whether Aamir Khan’s replacement would do it for free since the Bollywood actor had not charged the government for the advertisement. Banerjee is also learnt to have asked about the amount that had to be paid to the new person.
At that juncture, BJP MP Manoj Tiwari is learnt to have excitedly said, “It is good that Aamir Khan has been taken out of the campaign… he is a traitor (deshdrohi) … .” This prompted Banerjee, Congress member K C Venugopal and some others to quickly retort by saying, “This is not right … this kind of language should not be used about anybody… it is unparliamentary behaviour.” Tiwari fell silent after that reaction.