Kantara Connection with BJP: Union ministers Nirmala Sitharaman and Piyush Goyal praised the hit Kannada film Kantara at the Karnataka government’s Global Investors Meet in Bengaluru in November. Apart from Kannada, this film of Rishabh Shetty is liked a lot in Hindi and other languages as well. At the same time, now the connection of this film with the Bharatiya Janata Party is also coming to the fore. The film is produced by a company linked to BJP leader and Karnataka minister Dr. C N Ashwathnarayan.
When asked about his connection with the Hombale Films LLP production house that produced Kantara, Ashwathnarayan said, “Vijay T Kiragandur, the film’s producer, is my cousin.” But records accessed by The Indian Express show that there is a deep nexus between the state minister, the company, and Kiragandur. Records with the Registrar of Companies (RoC) show that Ashwathnarayan was a bank guarantor for loans taken by Humble Label for two real estate business ventures. Apart from this, he has also invested in a business venture run by Kiragandur.
BJP leaders had praised: On November 2, 2022, at the inauguration of the Global Meet, Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal, in his speech, mentioned the film, saying that it had collected almost 20 times the budget of Rs 15 crore. He said, “Kantara is a low-budget film, which depicts the culture of Karnataka. Investors and industries are attracted towards India and the state which has very progressive policies.”
Participated in promotional events of Hombale Films: Minister Dr. C N Ashwathnarayan has regularly participated in promotional events for films produced by Hombale Films, from the Muhurat shot of Salar in Hyderabad in 2021 to the trailer release of KGF-2 in March 2022 have taken. ROC records show that Hombale Films, started in 2017, and two sister firms, Hombale Infrastructure Projects LLP (2011) and Hombale Construction and Estates Pvt Ltd (2016), have Vijay Kiragandur and Chaluve Gowda as directors. Gowda is one of the producers of Kantara.
Company’s bank guarantor: In the case of Humble Infrastructure, RoC records show that Ashwathnarayan was the guarantor for a bank loan of Rs 15 crore taken by the firm from Vijaya Bank in 2012. The minister was also the guarantor for raising the loan taken by the firm from Vijaya Bank from Rs 95 crore to Rs 175 crore in 2018. Kiragandur is also the director of the Malleswaram Sports Foundation, which was started in 2012 by Ashwathnarayana and Padmasree Medicare Pvt Ltd in Malleswaram, his constituency in North Bengaluru. According to Ashwathnarayan’s 2018 election affidavit, he holds shares of the foundation.