Superstar Mohanlal, who has been condemned for charging a hefty fee for his new musical band at the opening ceremony of the 35th National Games of India, Friday said that he is doing it for free.
"The report that I've charged a Rs.2 crore fee for the show is baseless. I have not taken anything as my fees. Instead I have taken only the cost of bringing in numerous singers for the event and if calculated, it's much less than what is being said," Mohanlal told reporters here.
Prominent singers who will be taking part at the event Saturday include Hariharan, Sujatha and Udit Narayan apart from others.
"You can please calculate, to find out, if each of the singers that are going to perform tomorrow, if brought individually, would cost a huge amount. I am doing this show as a tribute to the masters of yesteryear, which include actors, singers and music directors (from Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam, Bengali and other states film industries) and it begins from 1931 to 1980," said the superstar.
The opening ceremony of the 35th National Games would be held at a brand new stadium. Mohanlal will helm a nearly four-hour long show.
"We are also staging another programme that depicts the struggles of our erstwhile kingdoms, which includes portrayals of legends like Kunhali Mariakkar," added the superstar.
State Sports Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan pointed out that in Kerala anything and everything is first blown up and a controversy is created for no reason. This incident also needs to be seen in that light, he said.
"The Kerala Government is thankful to Mohanlal for showcasing his inaugural programme of his new musical band named Lalisom - The Lal Effect at the opening ceremony. It's a never before seen event," said Radhakrishnan.
He also added that two of India's legends -- Sachin Tendulkar and Mohanlal -- would be there for the country's biggest sporting event, which is being held at 30 venues in seven districts of the state and will end Feb 14.