Priyanka slams Ravi Shankar Prasad for comment on economy

New Delhi: Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Sunday slammed Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad over his comments linking Bollywood to the economy and dismissing an economic slowdown, saying he must come out of the film life and should not turn his face from the reality.

“It is sad that when lakhs of people are losing jobs, the banks are sitting on the hard earned money of the people and the government is not worried about their problems. People are not bothered about the profits of the films. Minister sir, come out of the film life and do not shy away from the reality,” Priyanka tweeted in Hindi.

Her remarks came a day after Prasad, who stirred a controversy by citing box-office collections to negate economic slowdown in the country.

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While addressing a press conference in Mumbai on Saturday, Prasad was asked to comment on the economic slowdown. The Minister replied: “I was Information and Broadcasting minister in former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s government and I am fond of movies. Movies have been doing huge businesses. Three movies were released on October 2 and film critic Komal Nahta told me that the national holiday saw them earning Rs 120 crore. Rs 120 crore comes in a country, which has a sound economy.”

However, under fire from political opponents, the Union Law Minister on Sunday withdrew his statement and clarified that he made the comment as he was in Mumbai, which is the film capital of India and “provides employment to lakhs of people and contributes significantly by way of taxes”.

“Being a sensitive person, I withdraw this comment,” said Prasad on Sunday but alleged that it was “completely twisted out of context”.

A statement released by his office said, “My comments made yesterday in Mumbai about three films making Rs 120 crore in a single day — the highest ever — was a factually correct statement.”

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