Bhuj: The Pride of India — Sharad Kelkar replaces Rana Daggubati in Ajay Devgn, Sanjay Dutt's period drama
In the film, Ajay Devgn plays the lead as Squadron Leader Vijay Karnik, who was the supervisor of Bhuj airport in Gujarat during the Indo-Pak war of 1971.
Sharad Kelkar, who was last seen in historical drama Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior as Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, has replaced Rana Daggubati in Bhuj: The Pride of India. Daggubati stepped down from the project citing health issues.
Kelkar confirms the development with Bangalore Mirror saying he has known director Abhishek Dudhaiya ever since they started their careers in the entertainment industry. "Bhuj has a lot of action, and since Rana might take a couple of months to recover, Abhishek offered me the part. I told him I'd love to be a part of his debut film." He adds he has a good rapport with Ajay Devgn and Sanjay Dutt, who are also part of the cast.
Kelkar says he always wanted to join the army, and being in Bhuj has given him a chance to wear the uniform. He says he starts shooting in a week.
Dudhaiya has also written the film, said to be based on real events. Devgn will depict Squadron Leader Vijay Karnik, who was the supervisor of Bhuj airport in Gujarat during the Indo-Pak war of 1971. Karnik, along with 50 Indian Air Force and 60 defence security officers, played an instrumental role in keeping the airbase operational despite facing heavy bombing from Pakistan. Sonakshi Sinha, Ammy Virk, and Pranitha Subhash will also feature in Bhuj.
According to Times of India, Dutt will be seen as Ranchordas Svabhai Ravari ‘Pagi’, a civilian who helped the Indian forces during the war. Sinha's character will be called Sunderben Jetha Madharparya, a social worker, while Daggubati was slated to portray an army officer in the Madras Regiment, which will now be played by Kelkar. Virk will depict a fighter pilot, who also played a crucial role in the war.
Co-produced by Bhushan Kumar, Krishan Kumar, Ginny Khanuja, Vajir Singh, and Dhudhaiya, Bhuj is salted to release this Independence Day on 14 August.
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