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Bihar poll debut inspires two Prakash Jha films

By Imran Khan, IANS

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He may not win, but the rough and tumble of his electoral battle in Bihar has been enough to add grist to the celluloid mill of filmmaker Prakash Jha.

Jha is an independent candidate from the Bettiah Lok Sabha constituency where the Election Commission has ordered re-polling in 429 out of 1,146 booths on May 24 due to alleged election fraud.

The electoral experience has already left the director of the award-winning "GangaaJal" wiser - by giving him ideas for not one, but two films.

"I will make the films on the basis of what I personally experienced during my election campaign," Jha told IANS here.

He was here to mobilise the support of other political parties in favour of his demand that the Bettiah polls should countermanded.

Bettiah is infamous for its dacoits. One of Jha's rivals is the mafia don-turned-politician Rajan Tiwari, who is contesting the elections from behind the bars.

Jha's films are tentatively titled "Apharan" and "Rajniti". He plans to start work on the first film July 2.

The film story is about the "kidnapping industry" in Bihar. The film will focus on how kidnapping has become an industry in the state and how politicians play a major role in it.

In the lead roles will be Bollywood actors Ajay Devgan and Nana Patkar, he said.

The other film, "Rajniti", would be about electoral politics. He did not reveal much about the lead role in this film.

Jha, a Bihari, is known for making films on the social ills in a semi-feudal state. His films have been appreciated for reflecting social exploitation and the intermingling of crime and politics in Bihar. These include "Damul", "Mrityudand" and "GangaaJal".

The state's ruling Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Laloo Prasad Yadav said last week that Jha had lost his mind because of his impending defeat in the Lok Sabha polls.

Yadav also described Jha as a bad director, saying he was trying to join politics out of desperation as his films had flopped.

But Jha seems set to join politics all right, with plans to launch his political outfit to contest assembly elections in Bihar next year.


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