Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan was supposed to inaugurate the 25th Kolkata International Film Festival (KIFF), but superstar Shah Rukh Khan filled in his shoes after the megastar could not make it to the event due to his severely deteriorating health.
Mamta Banerjee herself confirmed the news about Amitabh Bachchan's absence during her address at the inaugural function of the KIFF on Friday. "Amitabhji comes here every time. But he could not turn up. Since last night he is unwell. So doctors have restricted his movements. He is suffering a lot since last night," Deccan Chronicle quoted the West Bengal Chief Minister as saying.
Mamta also said that she had received messages about his ailment from the actor and his wife Jaya Bachchan. "He contacted me, Jaya ji (Jaya Bachchan) also. .. We pray for his long life and good health. Today though he could not come, I believe Amitji's mind is with this festival. We cannot think of this film festival without him," added the chief minister of West Bengal.
Later, Amitabh Bachchan also took to his Facebook page to regret his absence. The senior actor posted, "FB 2543 - was to be in Kolkata for KIFF.. a medical issue and had to be confined to bed.. my regrets in missing this event .. but for the past six years I have attended and given a speech which the GoWB has appreciated and put in a book as well .. I had my speech ready and prepared, but shall send it to GoWB any way.. a lot of research went into it .."
This is why Shah Rukh Khan inaugurated the 25th edition of KIFF. Addressing the event, Mamta called him her favourite brother. "Amar priyo bhai Shah Rukh (My favourite brother Shah Rukh)... He has made a name for himself all over the world now. He still has no audacity, no pride. He loves human beings and humanity," said the WB CM adding that she had warned him that she would not talk to him, if he took a leave.