New Delhi, Jan 13 (IANS) The brand ambassador for the ‘Incredible India’ campaign will be decided soon and the process is on the right track, union Minister of State for Culture and Tourism Mahesh Sharma said on Wednesday.
“We have to follow a process. It’s on the right track and it will be decided soon,” he told IANS on the sidelines of commemoration of the 150th birth anniversary of Lala Lajpat Rai at Teen Murti Bhavan here.
Asked whether actor Amitabh Bachchan, who has been the brand ambassador of Gujarat Tourism, has been confirmed for the ‘Incredible India’ campaign, Sharma said it was not an individual decision.
“No individual can decide on the matter,” he said.
Speculations were rife that Bachchan has been roped in for the campaign run under the aegis of the tourism ministry. Names of others like actor Akshay Kumar, Deepika Padukone and Priyanka Chopra were also doing the rounds.
The removal of Bollywood actor Aamir Khan as the campaign brand ambassador created a controversy last week over allegations that his removal was in response to his remarks on what a section of people call “growing intolerance” in the country.
However, the ministry earlier denied the allegations, saying it was a contractual decision involving advertising agency McCann Worldgroup and that the contract with the agency had ended recently.
Asked about the Ram Janmabhoomi temple at Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh, the minister said they would await the Supreme Court verdict in the matter or arrive at a consensus on the temple.
“It’s the dream of the people of India to build the Ram Temple at Ayodhya. However, we hope it will be built after a consensus or we will wait for court decision since the matter is lying with the Supreme Court,” he said.
Earlier this month, Sharma ran into a controversy with his comment that the government was committed to build the Ram temple at Ayodhya. However, he changed stance later, saying that senior BJP leaders would decide on the matter.
Asked if there was difference of opinion in the party about the temple since BJP MP Subramanian Swamy had written a letter in this regard to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Sharma said it’s up to the prime minister to decide on the letter.
Senior BJP leaders have already spelt out their stance on the matter, Sharma said.