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Rajinikanth's Kaala may not be released in Karnataka

As in the case of Baahubali 2 last year, comments on the Cauvery water dispute between the two southern states threaten to queer the pitch for the superstar.

Our Correspondent

The trailer of Rajinikanth’s Kaala was launched today. Unfortunately for the Southern superstar, the film is already courting controversy.

The Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce (KFCC) has decided not to release Kaala in the state.

The move comes after KFCC president SR Govindu took offence to Rajinikanth comment’s on the age-old Cauvery water dispute between the two states.

The KFCC is said to have held a meeting today where members decided against screening the superstar’s film in the state.

A few days ago, Govindu had taken offence to Rajinikanth's statement and called for theatre owners and distributors to not screen Kaala.

"Kannadigas are upset with Rajinikanth's comments on the Cauvery issue and so his film will not be released in Karnataka," the KFCC said. "As many as 10 letters from various pro-Kannada groups have reached the film chamber demanding a ban on Kaala in Karnataka. Considering the sentiments of Kannadigas, there is pressure on us to not release the film."

Not too long ago, the superstar had floated his own party. The actor recently appealed to the new Karnataka government to give Tamil Nadu its share of the Cauvery waters.

"The Cauvery Management Board should be formed as soon as possible. If the Centre does not do that, it may face the wrath of entire Tamil Nadu," Rajinikanth had said during a silent protest held by the Nadigar Sangam (South Indian Artistes’ Association) in April.

Rajinikanth’s comments were not welcomed by newly elected Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy. “If there is really water here, it is possible for us to give," he retorted. "I am requesting Rajinikanth, please come and see for yourself the situation in our dams, what is happening to our farmers. After that, if you still want water, then let us discuss.”

Kaala is not the first film to face a threat of a ban in Karnataka. Last year, Baahubali: The Conclusion actor Sathyaraj, who played Katappa in the blockbuster, was also criticized for his views on the Cauvery dispute. Curiously, Sathyaraj had made his comments nine years earlier.

Baahubali 2 was only allowed to be released in the state after director SS Rajamouli appealed to the protestors and Sathyaraj issued a statement of regret.