Bollywood film producer Pahlaj Nihalani, also brother-in-law of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and former Union minister Shatrughan Sinha, is the new chairperson of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).
The government appointed him within a week after Leela Samson resigned from the post accusing the government, politicians and religious groups of “coercing” the board to give certification to films.
Nihalani will hold the post in an honorary capacity from Monday for a period of three years or “until further orders, whichever is earlier,” the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting stated.
Known for producing several blockbusters, including Bollywood star Govinda’s 1992 mega-hit “Aankhen”, Nihalani also produced a full-length music video titled “Har Ghar Modi, Ghar Ghar Modi” ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
The government also appointed nine new members as the posts fell vacant after the sitting members resigned. Almost all new members are associated with the BJP.
The newly appointed members will continue to hold the post for a period of three years or until further orders, the ministry stated.
Telugu actor-turned-filmmaker Jeevitha is one among the nine members. The actor, who landed in a controversy after getting embroiled in a check bounce case a few years ago, had joined the BJP ahead of the general election.
Former national secretary of the BJP Vani Tripathi Tikoo, George Baker—who contested the Lok Sabha polls from Howrah in West Bengal on a BJP ticket—and Ramesh Patange, who has links with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, have all been appointed members of the CBFC.