By Subhash K. Jha
Mumbai, April 25 (IANS) He was arrested following reports that he was distributing money to voters in his constituency in Bihar and claims he was harassed by the administration a day before the polls. Filmmaker-turned-politician Prakash Jha is now set to write a film on his election experience as a Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) candidate.
"It's great entertainment. And for me my cinema has always been a mirror of the wider reality. During 'Gangaajal' I took on Sadhu Yadav when he alleged I had used real-life Bihar politics in the film. Now I've taken him on at the elections."
Jha is pitted against Sadhu Yadav, a Congress nominee and brother-in-law of Railway Minister Lalu Prasad who quit the Rashtriya Janata Dal after he was denied a ticket.
He was arrested Wednesday and subsequently released after the Bihar police recovered Rs.10.25 lakhs (over Rs.1 million) in cash following reports that he was distributing money to voters in the West Champaran constituency. Jha has vehemently denied the allegations and says it was an attempt to discredit him among the people of Bihar a day before the polls.
"First of all, the police did not raid my election base in Champaran. They raided my sugar factory - the Maurya Sugar Factory - not my electoral headquarters. And that money was the salary for the workers of my sugar mill," Jha asserted.
The director, who has made films like "Gangaajal" and "Apaharan", claims the local administration has been harassing him.
"I'd like to put it on record that I'm being harassed by the local administration. A day before the elections in Champaran I wasn't allowed to move around freely on the road even on a two-wheeler. But I'm confident all these attempts to malign and obstruct me will only add votes to my name," Jha said.