The upcoming Salman Khan starrer mega-budget film, Tiger Zinda Hai has run into a political controversy just before a day of its release.
The film, is scheduled to release on December 22, 2017
While the Maharashtra Navnirman Chitrapat Sena (MNCS) has warned cinema owners against booking all shows for Tiger Zinda Hai and denying slots to two Marathi films, other parties like the Congress and the Shiv Sena also joined the controversy with their own party lines.
MNCS President Amey Khopkar told the media that the screening of the movie should not be at the cost of the Marathi films, "Deva" and "Gachhi", which must be allotted suitable prime time slots.
"We are not against the release of any film, including Tiger Zinda Hai, our objection is why should all the slots be reserved for just one film and all others have no slots to exhibit their films," Khopkar said.
On Tuesday, the MNCS shot off letters to all cinemas, demanding proper prime-time slots for the Marathi films, failing which it would agitate against the Salman Khan film.
Mumbai Congress President Sanjay Nirupam has come out in favour of "Tiger Zinda Hai", but a party legislator Nitesh Rane has espoused the cause of the Marathi film industry, while the Shiv Sena has also toed a pro-Marathi line in this matter.
However, theatre owners are in a quandary since Tiger Zinda Hai is the first mega-budget film after several months, and probably the last this calendar year, after protests and threats pushed back the release of the much-anticipated Sanjay Leela Bhansali film "Padmavati" to 2018.
Unconfirmed reports suggest that Yash Raj Films has stipulated all theaters to have at least five shows of "Tiger Zinda Hai", hoping to lure cinema buffs and Salman Khan fans in the Christmas holiday season