I said seven years ago that Narendra Modi should be the Prime Minister: Preity Zinta

I am doing two films right now, one is called Bhaiyyaji Superhit and the other is Happy Ending, and I had nothing to do with what it’s called. It’s a film with Saif. You will be hearing about me doing some other movies soon but as of now, it’s just about the IPL and the elections. It’s the first time since 1984 — it’s been the most decisive elections for India with the BJP coming as the single largest party with such a big majority.

Politics and elections
I had said seven years ago that I would like to see Mr Modi as Prime Minister. I started off as his biggest critic. Post Godhra, there were only negative thoughts in my head about him being communal. But then when I started going to Gujarat to shoot etc and meeting other people there, especially the Muslims and the stories I heard from them and the development that I saw around them made me see him in a different light. And you know what? The Supreme Court has given him a clean chit so who are we to judge? If the highest court in the country says something we must go by that, and secondly, it’s not the first time that we have had riots in India. We have had riots from 1984 to Kashmiri Pandit issues to the Godhra riots to the Muzaffarnagar riots – we have had all these issues but who, after falling down so badly, has gotten up and taken care of his state and done something for the people? So that means that there’s a future with this person and that was the only reason that I really started leaning towards him and becoming a fan of his. The way the Gujarat machinery works, it would be great if India could be like that. We would be that Golden Bird once again people talked of and poets wrote about. I just hope that people don’t expect him to do everything in one day and just give him some time!

Production time
I am going to make a lot of movies. Ishq In Paris will not the only film I ever make. That was a great learning experience and very tough to make but I think I am ready to come back bigger, better and stronger.

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If it wasn’t my money in T20 franchise, they’d have caught me: Preity Zinta

kxip3 Preity invited us for a chat at the very same apartment. “I’m doing the interview here, because this is the building reports said I don’t live in anymore,” she says.

In clarification mode, she also defends her business investments, including her T20 franchise, and a film production venture that flopped.

Was it disappointing that your first film production venture didn’t work?
Yes, but tell me one production house that didn’t have a failure. I’ve done lots of things right, and I’ve had a lot of success, so it was okay to have a failure. I was new to the role of a producer, so I made mistakes, and some wrong choices. Having said that, I’m proud of my first venture. I put in a lot of hard work. And I took responsibility for the things I did right, and for the things I did wrong. There were losses, but they were mine. No one else lost money in it.

Has acting taken a back seat?
I’m not done with acting. But I’m not going to wear small bits of cloth and dance around. I didn’t do it when I started my career; I won’t do it now. Unless I get a role which is powerful, it won’t appeal to me. I’m glad I made business investments, because it gave me the confidence financially to make brave choices. If I hadn’t done that, I’d still have been trying to play 19-year-olds in films. I know there are other avenues for me.

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“Do random polygraph tests on IPL owners, players”

Kings XI Punjab owner Preity Zinta has advocated random polygraph tests for players, team management as well as team owners to cleanse cricket tournaments of spot fixing and other such evils.

“With so much money involved in the Indian Premier League, I would think polygraph test is the only way to go forward. We know that nobody is clever enough to fight a polygraph test,” Zinta told News24 Editor-in-Chief Anurradha Prasad in an exclusive interview on her show Aamne Saamne on Thursday. She added that players indulging in unethical means should be “banned for life”.

The actor-turned-businesswoman said polygraph tests are the only way to stop bad practices of players, who bring disrepute not only to the cricket league but the entire country. Zinta’s comments came in the wake of spot-fixing scandal involving Rajasthan Royals pacer S. Sreesanth and two others that stunned the cricket world on Thursday.

Asked to comment if the scandal will dent the IPL’s image, she said: “First of all, I am very angry. I, as an owner, feel that so much time and money spent on the mega event comes to a naught while we end up becoming victims. It’s very important that strong measures are taken now, because so much money is involved in this.”

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IPL-2 irregularities: ED records Preity Zinta’s statement

Preity Zinta was on Tuesday questioned by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with the alleged irregularities in the conduct of the second season of the Indian Premier League. The ED also recorded the statement of Preity, co-owner of Kings XI Punjab, for over 10 hours.

“She complied with the summons issued to her by us”, said an ED official.

Preity (38) appeared before the ED authorities at 10 AM and her statement was recorded for over ten hours, he said without elaborating.

Former BCCI president Shashank Manohar, cricketer Ravi Shastri, who were on the IPL governing council, besides actor and Kolkata Knight Riders co-owner Shah Rukh Khan, had earlier been questioned in connection with alleged irregularities in conduct of IPL-2 held in South Africa.

The second edition of IPL was held in South Africa in 2009 after the venue was shifted from India.

It is alleged that ill-gotten money flowed into the T-20 tournament from foreign tax havens.

The ED had in 2011 issued a notice to BCCI and former IPL chairman Lalit Modi over an alleged contravention of foreign exchange rules and evasion of taxes during the second season of the IPL.

The second edition of the tournament which came under the scanner also led to the sacking of the then commissioner Lalit Modi for alleged financial irregularities in the organisation of the tournament.

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Yuvraj’s still a friend: Preity

The IPL season kicks off in less than a month and there are a lot of changes this season.

One of them is that Yuvraj Singh will now bat for his new team from Pune and not for Preity Zinta’s Punjab team. The actress and her players return to IPL 4 with a brave face, but the fact is that they’ve lost out on quite a few of their old players.

They finished bottom in the last season and with no marquee players in the team this time, everyone is wondering about their game plan. They sure will miss Yuvraj, Irfan Pathan and Bret Lee. However, the spunky Preity is not bemoaning the loss of any. When asked whether she’ll miss Yuvraj, she shoots back, “Why is it always one way? He also has lost out on us. We are still friends and I wish Yuvi well. In fact, I was really happy to see him perform well in the last match that India played in the World Cup.”

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Bombay High Court stays Kings XI Punjab’s termination from IPL

The Bombay High Court on Wednesday granted Kings XI Punjab an interim stay on its expulsion from the Indian Premier League (IPL) but said the franchise would have to satisfy certain conditions, which would include retaining the shareholding pattern and paying the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) a security for player fees.

The owners of Kings XI Punjab actress Preity Zinta, Ness Wadia (Bombay Dyeing), Karan Paul (Apeejay Surendera Group) and Mohit Burman (Dabur) had moved the court last month seeking redressal for the cancellation of its IPL contract by the BCCI in October.

Its petition contended that the termination was a “deliberate and calculated” move to ensure a new and more lucrative re-bidding process. A video from Preity here.

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Chose cricket over movies

Enjoying the calm before the storm, Preity Zinta had just gotten back home after spending months in the US bonding big time with her newborn niece. Strongly denying rumours that she is planning to set up base in the US Preity said, “I am still here in India. I had just been there for a holiday. I had not mingled with my family for a long, long time and since I was free, I went.”

She decided to not concentrate on acting for a bit because, “ If I had started work on movies I wouldn’t have been able to meet them. My brother lives in America and he has a daughter who looks exactly like me, except that she has no dimples. I wanted to spend time with her otherwise she will have no attachment to me. And I didn’t want that.” After 10 long years, Preity finally got to bond big time with her loved ones. “Now that I am fulfilled I am going to focus on movies without neglecting anybody,” she said.

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Preity Zinta: Bollywood star sets sights on business world

Preity Zinta is a Bollywood superstar with a string of awards and hit movies to her name. But as co-owner of a major cricket team, and following a course at Harvard Business School, she has started a transition from actress to businesswoman.

An English graduate who went on to study criminal psychology, Zinta, 34, told CNN she fell into acting by chance, but had always been interested in business.

“It’s not that acting was something I’d always wanted to do. I had no formal training; I’d never really imagined I’d be an actress,” she said in a telephone interview from India.

“Business was something that had always been in my mind, but when I got into acting, I learned everything on set, and for me at that point I wanted to excel at what I did.”

Zinta had been acting for 11 years when, in 2008, she decided to buy a stake in Kings XI Punjab, one of the eight cricket teams in the fledgling, multimillion dollar, Indian Premier League (IPL).

“I was at the top of my job, doing extremely well, everything was great and then I said ‘now what?’ There has to be a natural progression,” Zinta told CNN.

Hugely popular in India, the IPL attracts some of the world’s top cricketers and has a sizeable following in cricket-playing countries. No silent partner, Zinta said that when she bought her stake she was determined to be involved in running the team.

“I’m pretty hands on. The partners I was working with all come from business families, and they’re all running billion-dollar businesses, so for them, this was too small a business to run day-to-day,” she said. “So I decided I would go for it, be hands on, learn the business from the start and see how it goes.”
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