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'Bajirao Mastani' hits a roadblock

'Unpaid' workers are said to have brought set construction of Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone starrer film 'Bajirao Mastani' to a halt

Sanjay Leela Bhansali's dream project, Bajirao Mastani, seems to have hit a new hurdle. Grapevine is abuzz with reports that the film's set designing received a blow after workers resorted to a ceasework alleging non-payment of wages. A source says, "The workers were neither paid on time nor given conveyance allowance. So they decided to launch a non-cooperation movement, which has brought the process to a standstill."

Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone, apart from Priyanka Chopra, star in Bajirao Mastani. Pic/Satyajit Desai
Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone, apart from Priyanka Chopra, star in Bajirao Mastani. Pic/Satyajit Desai 

The upcoming period romance stars Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone and Priyanka Chopra. The source adds, "The workers were called even on Dussehra and not given any conveyance allowance, after which the set construction was suspended. It was resumed only when they were given conveyance allowance, although their payments are still due."

Allied Mazdoor Union leader, Gangeshwar Srivastav confirmed the reports. "Yes, we had called for non-cooperation on the sets of Bajirao Mastani because workers are awaiting payment. Till now, payment of around Rs 18 lakh has not been cleared. The workers, who were asked to work on Dussehra, were barely paid conveyance costs, that too when they refused to do any work on the sets.

The production team has asked us to wait for payment for a few more days and if they don't stick to their words, we will call for a non-cooperation movement again. All workers will withdraw from the film," he says.
Sources close to the production team suggested that it was, in fact, the film's art director who had withheld the payments. Bhansali remained unavailable for comment.

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