New Delhi: Under attack for naming people with BJP connections to the Censor Board, the government today defended its appointments saying the idea was to have a "mix of all" in the composition of the statutory body which saw mass resignations last week after its earlier chief stepped down alleging interference in its matters.
"The idea is to have a mix of all," Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore said.
Although the minister agreed that a couple of persons who were inducted into the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) were part of BJP, he rejected charges that the NDA government was following in the footsteps of its predecessors in selecting party loyalists to be members of the body.
Rathore further claimed that people associated with other parties have also been chosen.
"You would find in the same list people who have been associated with other parties as well. I do not want to get into specific names. If you look with a microscope, you will find everyone associated with everybody else," he said.
As to the appointment of Pahlaj Nihalani as the new CBFC chairman, Rathore said that the former was a reputed film director and was a good choice for the post.
The Centre had yesterday appointed Nihalani as the new Censor Board chief and also named nine other members to the body, many of whom have a BJP connection. The move came days after Leela Samson resigned as the CBFC chairperson alleging interference by the government in its matters.
Among those nominated as members of CBFC are BJP leader Vani Tripathi Tikoo, Vice Chancellor of Central University of Gujarat, Professor Syed Abdul Bari, filmmakers Chandra Prakash Dwivedi and Ashoke Pandit and film-writer Mihir Bhuta.
Apart from Tikoo, there are several others with a BJP connection.
Actor George Baker contested on a BJP ticket from Howrah in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Tamil playwright S Ve Sekhar joined BJP a couple of years ago and actor-filmmaker Jeevitha, too, had entered BJP last year.