Smriti Irani
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Sarkar over screen for Smriti!

Smriti Irani

By HT

New Delhi, Dec. 16 -- Before Smriti Irani became the Union HRD Minister in May this year, she had started work on Umesh Shukla's next, also starring Abhishek Bachchan, Rishi Kapoor and Asin. Now, we hear that due to other commitments, she has opted out of the project.

"It is really sad, but I had to take this decision of opting out of the project as I have a larger role to play, and have a duty towards our nation," says Irani in a statement.

Irani started work on the project in November 2013, but the shoot didn't finish within the anticipated time frame. "I tried to rework my schedule and shoot every weekend, which my co-stars graciously agreed to, but for logistical reasons, that did not materialise ... Mr Bhushan (Kumar; producer) graciously let me bow out," Irani added.

Kumar, on his part, says, "Smritiji was generous enough to work out her schedule to shoot with us, but we completely understand her duties towards the cabinet and the nation...".

Shukla adds, "She tried her best to accommodate the shoot in her schedule but it did not work out, so she had to opt out for genuine reasons."