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Leave me out of Incredible India ambassador debate: SRK

Kolkata: Bollywood Superstar Shah Rukh Khan wants to be left out of the Aamir Khan-Amitabh Bachchan 'Incredible India' ambassador debate.

"I don't have anything to do with it: neither was I recruited nor was I let go. Please leave me out of it," SRK told media persons here on Monday at the launch of 'Shades of Bengal' coffee table book by Kansai Nerolac.

SRK
Shah Rukh Khan. Pic/Nimesh Dave

Superstar Aamir Khan had confirmed earlier this month that he was no longer brand ambassador of the 'Incredible India' campaign and said he respected the government's decision not to extend his contract in this regard.

The superstar, whose comments on perceived intolerance in the country had created a controversy, ceased to be the mascot for government's 'Incredible India' campaign after 10 years.

While many see Aamir's removal as the face of 'Incredible India' a consequence of his comments on the intolerance issue, the tourism ministry yesterday said they had not hired the actor but had left it to an agency to do that.

"Our contract was with the McCann Worldwide agency for 'Atithi Devo Bhava' campaign. The agency had hired Aamir for the job. Now the contract with the agency is over. Ministry has not hired Aamir. It was the agency which has hired him. Since the contract with the agency is no more, automatically the arrangement with the actor no longer exists," Union Minister of State for Tourism Mahesh Sharma said.

Two months ago, at an event here, Aamir had said that his wife Kiran Rao had asked if they should move out of the country, as she feared for the safety of their children in a climate of insecurity.

Speculations are rife that Big B will be roped in to promote the campaign after the end of Aamir's contract.

While some media channels were speculating on whether it would be Priyanka Chopra or Deepika Padukone, the majority were confident that the choice would be megastar Amitabh Bachchan. This was reinforced after the PTI quoted Tourism Ministry sources as saying that Amitabh Bachchan, the brand ambassador of Gujarat tourism, is the government's first choice as the new face of its 'Incredible India' campaign.

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