Karnataka Cinema Theater Owners Assn dissolved

BANGALORE: The Karnataka film crisis episode has taken a new twist with MLA and son of former prime minister HD Deve Gowda, HD Kumaraswamy, openly disowning the Karnataka Cinema Theater Owners Association (KCTOA) and saying that KCTOA has no right to use his name while issuing statements.

As reported by on 31 August, Kumaraswamy had chaired a meeting of the KCTOA where he was projected as the president of the organisation. On being questioned about the previous president Arun Kumar, the press was informed that he had resigned to make way for HD Kumaraswamy.

Now Kumaraswamy has denied that he was president of the KCTOA or that he had any say in the decision making of that body. He is quoted in the media reports as saying, "Theater owners asked me to lead them. So far, I have given my consent. But KCTOA is already issuing an unsigned statement carrying my name. The decision to ban Babu's film was taken by exhibitors and not his," he said as per media reports, distancing himself from the KCTOA."

As reported earlier, an unsigned press release attributed to minister HD Kumaraswamy had declared that that any film with which producer and director S V Rajendra Singh Babu is directly or indirectly associated would not be displayed in any theatre in Karnataka for the next five years starting 8 September, 2004 till 8 September, 2009.KCTOA secretary KV Dhananjay said that the KCTOA stood dissolved following Kumaraswamy's statements and hence ban on Rajendra Singh Babu's films called for by the KCTOA was automatically withdrawn. The Gokak type agitation that the KFPA had threatened has now been put on hold too.

The government has yet to act on information & broadcasting minister Jaipal Reddy's appeal to lift the seven-week ban on non-Kannada Films. The Government-formed Pandey committee is to meet later today to discuss the ills of the Kannada industry.

Meanwhile, ex-minister and Congress MLA DK Shivakumar has indicated his support of the Karnataka Film Producers Association (KFPA) demands by attending a meeting called by the Kannada film fraternity yesterday. DK Shivakumar's antagonism towards the former PM HD Deve Gowda and his sons is reportedly well known, and during his speech he has reportedly cautioned the film fraternity against involving politicians.

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