"The film producer should remove the untruths regarding GST from the film", Union minister Pon Radhakrishnan told on Friday.
Earlier on Saturday, senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram also attacked the BJP over its demand for removal of dialogues critical of GST in "Mersal". "No one has money and only long queues", referring to the troubles people went through following the demonetisation of Rs 500 and 1,000 notes a year ago. The Tamil film "Mersal' is under the spotlight for criticising GST and demonetisation- decisions made by the Prime Minister and his colleagues".
Mersal released on Wednesday to record earnings and has been running to packed theatres. India will shine when it speaks. "He has assured me the offending scenes on GST and Digital India will be removed from the film".
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Replying to Chidambaram's tweet, Tamil Nadu BJP leader and national secretary H Raja said if that were to happen, people would not allow the government to run temples by quoting a popular dialogue from it. The party objected to what it termed "untruths" about the central taxation regime in the film and demanded that the references be deleted. The character goes on to say public health in India has failed, and asks if our "leaders" will be treated in government hospitals when they fall sick. In the speech, which can be seen below, Vijay's character points out how Singapore has a GST rate of 7% and the country manages to provide free medical services to its citizens, while Indians don't get that despite paying up to 28% GST and medicines are taxed 12%. "Counter criticism with logical response", Kamal Haasan tweeted, wading into the controversy that erupted after the movie. The production house also said that some of the dialogues which were opposed by the BJP were "just" from their perspective.
After the meeting with BJP members, the film-producer revealed, "our honest approach to meet them in person, we thank them all, we explained the movie's objective, our stand and that this movie has not been produced with an intention to hurt anyone and they have generously accepted it".
The buzz in trade circles is that even if the scenes pointed out by BJP are to be cut, it will take days, as it has to be re-censored.