Current Affairs

Congress wants to take credit for change of IFFI dates

Not wanting to give the new BJP government a feather in its cap, Congress Rajya Sabha MP Shantaram Naik informed that the Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Ambika Soni stated that the possibility of hosting IFFI from either November 10 to 20 or from December 5 to 15 is being explored.

Naik stated in a press note issued from New Delhi that Soni had informed him about this after he met the minister on Monday and congratulated her for securing the approval from the International Federation of Film Producers Association, Paris, to the new dates to hold the international film festival in Goa.

The Catholic community had complained that the event was clashing with the novenas and feast of St Francis Xavier.

Naik said that he and South Goa MP Francisco Sardinha had pursued the matter with Soni prior to the commencement of IFFI 2011. However, the change in dates has to be approved by the Paris-based association, which could not be done in time.

The letter dated March 1, 2012, written by Benoit Ginisty, director general of the Paris-based association, approving the change of dates to hold the festival from November 20 to November 30, 2012 was received by Shankar Mohan, director, IFFI, New Delhi.

“It is strange that those who are not connected with the efforts made in this regard are taking credit which is not due to them,” Naik said.

Chief minister Manohar Parrikar had announced that the dates of the festival have been shifted. Parrikar had recently announced that the schedule of IFFI had been changed to avoid a clash with Goa patron saint’s feast.

The decision, it is apparent, was conveyed much before the new government in Goa took over, Naik stated. Further, Soni informed him that Catholics have again appealed to her in a memorandum that they are not happy with the change in dates and want the high profile film event to he be held before or after the patron saints’ festival.

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