A day after Bollywood megastar Aamir Khan revealed that he had not charged any fees towards his association with Incredible India spanning over 10 years, it has emerged that Khan had never signed any contract either with the Tourism Ministry or the McCann Worldgroup.
Justifying his ministry’s decision on Wednesday, the tourism minister Mahesh Sharma had said the contract with advertising agency McCann Worldgroup for the campaign had expired.
He said, “Our agreement was with a media agency, namely McCann. That was for a particular work… They have completed that project. Hence, that contract is now oveready. ”
However, sources in his ministry said that Khan ‘ never signed any contract, with either the ministry or with McCann Worldwide.’
A senior official said, “It was an unpaid job and Mr Khan’s engagement with us was free of charge.”
Indian Express also reported highlighting similar facts. It quoted sources as saying, “There was also no paperwork (related to Aamir Khan) with the government or the agency.”
This conclusively punctures the tourism ministry’s claim that his removal from Incredible India campaign had nothing to do with Aamir’s criticism for the BJP led government on growing religious intolerance in India.
Meanwhile, there are also reports that an ’embarrassed’ PMO on Thursday asked Sharma to ‘urgently’ send ‘chronological details’ of how the ministry arrived at the conclusion of dropping Aamir from its flagship campaign to promote tourism in India.
Modi’s principal secretary Nripendra Mishra is believed to have written to Sharma.
Jantakareporter.com contacted McCann Worldgroup asking them to comment on the tourism ministry’s version of story, but the agency turned down our repeated requests.