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TV channel gets 1 lakh votes, Pahlaj Nihalani says he asked for votes on TV, not social media

The CBFC chief questioned the authenticity of  one lakh votes that Mirror Now garnered to make Nihalani live up to his word of reinstating the word 'intercourse' in Jab Harry Met Sejal.

Mayur Lookhar

Central Board Of Film Certification chief Pahlaj Nihalani has refused to live up to his word of reinstating the word 'intercourse' in Jab Harry Met Sejal even after news channel Mirror Now succeeded in getting one lakh votes on Twitter according to the condition laid by Nihalani.

Nihalani had challenged the news channel on 23 June to get one lakh votes in favour of the usage of the word 'intercourse' in the Shah Rukh Khan and Anushka Sharma film.

A video of Mirror Now reporter chasing Nihalani and looking for answers went viral yesterday, but the CBFC chief had his lips sealed.

Nihalani has hit back at being criticised, saying that he had asked for votes on TV, not on social media.  

“I said for TV not on social media (votes),” Nihalani told entertainment website Pinkvilla.   

The CBFC chief also questioned the authenticity of the votes garnered by the channel on Twitter. “On social media, they are giving such misleading information and out of Shah Rukh's over 1 crore fans they could only collect 80,000 votes on the sixth day and overnight [on the seventh day] all the fake accounts have given votes. How can I consider these social media votes based on fake accounts? Who are the genuine people here?” questioned Nihalani.

The controversial CBFC chief pinned the blame on the media for raking up an issue when the producer (Shah Rukh Khan’s Red Chillies Entertainment) of the film themselves haven’t demanded the reinstatement of the word.

“Producer is not bothered, he has not taken the certificate so far, neither he has come, neither he has applied his mind — revising (commitee) pe bhi ja sakta hai. When the producer is not bothered, why is the channel behind the decision? Why are they not questioning the court, the judge, the government (sic),” added Nihalani.

Meanwhile, the news channel has expressed surprise at the explanation given by the CBFC chief.  

"Mr Nihalani didn’t specify what kind of votes he required — TV or social media — when he issued the challenge on television. We don’t understand what he means by votes on TV. Does he expect the channel to air (video) bytes from one lakh people? How feasible is that? I think Mr Nihalani is constantly changing the goal post,” said Venkat Raman, executive producer, Mirror Now.

When told about the fake account allegation by Nihalani, Raman said, “Don’t all Twitter accounts need to be verified? I don’t think you can create a fake account on Twitter. And even if his allegation was to be true, then as opposed to just 1.28 lakh votes, we could have created 10 lakh accounts.”

Keep watching this space for more on this controversy. Jab Harry Met Sejal will be released on 4 August.