Wednesday, March 17, 2010

CPM recoils at Big B bond

New Delhi, March 17: The CPM has opposed a decision by the party-led Kerala government to appoint Amitabh Bachchan as its tourism ambassador because the actor had praised Narendra Modi.

The state unit of the party fears that the perceived association between Bachchan and Modi could provoke a backlash from minorities in next years elections. The minority community holds considerable sway in several districts of Kerala, where the CPM is fighting anti-incumbency, though on a lesser scale than in Bengal.

Bachchan, who is also a brand ambassador for Gujarat, had clarified earlier that he was promoting a state and not any individual. However, the actor�s generous praise for Modi, who is anathema to the CPM after the Gujarat riots, appears to have prompted the party to put its foot down.

The Kerala tourism department has not yet given up hope, though. �The gesture was made at a time we were desperately trying to overcome the drop in foreign tourist arrivals because of the global downturn by concentrating on domestic tourists. We all were excited when Big B said �yes� to our proposal,�� said a state tourism official. �We still hope that everything will work out fine.

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