BJP slams Vijay’s Mersal over reference to GSThttps://indianexpress.com/article/entertainment/tamil/bjp-slams-vijay-mersal-over-reference-to-gst-4898739/

BJP slams Vijay’s Mersal over reference to GST

In Mersal, Vetri, the character played by Vijay, remarks that while a country like Singapore charges just 7 per cent GST and provides free healthcare, India, which has high GST rates, can't afford to do the same.

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Vijay’s Mersal courts political controversy

Unconfirmed reports on Friday suggested that the producer of Mersal has decided to cut out parts of the new Vijay movie after the Tamil Nadu unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party took exception to some dialogues critical of the Goods and Services Act (GST).

Slamming the Tamil film industry as a whole and the filmmakers of Mersal in particular, BJP state unit president Tamilisai Sounderrajan had on Thursday questioned why the film was passing a comment on government initiatives. Referring to the recent Mersal controversy involving animal rights groups, she suggested that the filmmakers did not have the moral ground to criticise the Central government when they did not follow laws in using animals in their films.

“When you make films, you don’t follow rules. But, you criticise the government and tax regime,” she said. “I request Vijay fans not to support such statements.”

Sounderrajan said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been working round the clock for the betterment of the country and his government has brought down the prices of the medicines significantly in the last three years. “What do they (Mersal filmmakers) know about the GST or the economies involved in it? Spreading incorrect opinions is condemnable,” she added.

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In Mersal, Vetri, the character played by Vijay, remarks that while a country like Singapore charges just 7 per cent GST and provides free healthcare, India, which has high GST rates, can’t afford to do the same. Though the producers have reportedly decided to cut out this bit, it is appearing that this has only led to more demand for the film’s tickets as the audience want to watch the dialogues in question before they are edited out.

The BJP state unit president said she wonders from where the actors all of a sudden found the courage to criticise the Central government on baseless issues. “They (actors) can’t honestly fix the price of their movie tickets. They can’t honestly reveal the salaries they get paid. Or they don’t pay taxes correctly. But, they criticise PM Modi, who faces no corruption charges and works 24 hours a day for people’s welfare,” she alleged.

The Deepawali release directed by Atlee has created a few box office records, beating the collection made by films like Rajinikanth’s Kabali in Chennai for opening day and Shah Rukh Khan’s Raees. On the day it released, the Vijay-starrer has reportedly raked in more than Rs 31 crore from its ticket sales across the country; Rs 22.5 crore in Tamil Nadu alone.