Comedian Shyam Rangeela, a contestant on a laughter show on Indian television, says he was asked to avoid mimicking Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi -- something he considers his forte.
"The Great Indian Laughter Challenge" is aired on Star Plus. Bollywood star Akshay Kumar is the Super Judge.
"I got a chance to be a part of this show because of my mimicry. But when I gave my first performance while mimicking Modiji and Rahul (Gandhi), I was informed to do some other act. Then I was informed that I can't do the Modi act and can mimic Rahul.
"So, I started making another script. But after a few days, I was again told not to mimic Rahul also. In the end, I performed the same script in my own voice - with just two days' rehearsals and got eliminated," Rangeela told IANS over phone.
The comedian is from Rajasthan. He says it was his "big dream" to be a part of such a big platform, but it turned out to be a "nightmare" as they didn't give him the freedom to perform what he was chosen for.
His performance mimicking Modi came into discussion when comedian Mallika Dua, a former judge of the show, raised concern regarding Akshay's remark at her, by sharing a video.
The video was reportedly a leaked portion of an episode shoot held around a month ago, and it was never aired by channel Star Plus.
It showcases Mallika's fellow judge Zakir Khan telling Akshay that they will also accompany him to 'ring a bell' as a mark of appreciation for Rangeela for the Modi act.
That's when Akshay says, "Mallikaji, 'Aap bell bajao, main aap ko bajata hun' (You ring the bell, I will bang you)."
Mallika and her journalist father Vinod Dua on Wednesday condemned the comments and asked Akshay to apologize.