Indian-Canadian MP in steamy controversy (Lead)

March 14th, 2009 - 2:07 pm ICT by IANS  

By Gurmukh Singh
Toronto, March 14 (IANS) Young Indian Canadian MP Ruby Dhalla, listed third on the list of sexiest women politicians in the world by Maxim magazine, is in the centre of a steamy controversy.

Dhalla, who is the MP from the Brampton-Springdale constituency on the outskirts of Toronto, is in a legal battle to stop distribution of DVDs of a Bollywood movie she acted in in 2003 before her election to parliament.

In the film “Kyon Kis Liye”, Dhalla is shown in some steamy scenes with the film’s producer and co-star Charanjit Sihra.

The 35-year-old Dhalla says the scenes in the film, and distribution posters for DVDs have been “doctored” to malign her.

The film was shot at Hamilton near here and is based on the local Sukhinder Dhillon murder case in which the wife was poisoned by her husband to collect insurance money. It was shown in Toronto and India.

Now the producer wants to distribute DVDs of the film to wider audiences.

But Dhalla has mounted a legal challenge to stop it. A 1993 Miss India-Canada runner-up, Dhalla claims she is being misrepresented through objectionable scenes. “…they put my face on someone else’s body, in clothes I never wore,” she told local daily Toronto Sun.

In a statement from her constituency, Dhalla maintained: “The producers have super-imposed and doctored images of myself for their personal opportunistic gain. Despite notices from lawyers to immediately cease and desist, the producers continue to use my name, image and involvement without my consent.

“I have worked extremely hard to get to where I am and will not be exploited by individuals. I have taken and will continue to take all necessary legal action to stop this opportunism, defamation, slander and exploitation by the producers.”

But producer and co-star Charanjit Sihra, who owns a body shop in Hamilton, said Dhalla had given her consent in writing to the distribution of the film DVDs.

Nothing has been doctored, he told the Hamilton Spectator.

“That is her. That is her body. That is her face,” he said.

He said there was “nothing sexual” in the film. “Her mother was there every day (during the shooting of the film) … there is no nudity, or sex,” he said.

He said, “She wanted to be in Bollywood films…she had a passion for the movie, but she’s a politician now and doesn’t want the DVD of the film released.” Sihra said he had first met Dhalla in 1993 after she became a runner-up in the Miss India-Canada beauty contest.

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