Actress Archana Puran Singh has shot for two episodes of "The Kapil Sharma Show", but has denied that she did so as a "permanent" replacement for cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu, who has been ousted from the show after a controversial comment in the wake of the Pulwama terror attack.
Sony Entertainment Television put up a social media post on Sunday, welcoming Archana to the show, amidst a buzz that she has replaced Sidhu, who guffaws through the show.
We welcome Archana Puran Singh on #TheKapilSharmaShow, next Sunday! @apshaha @KapilSharmaK9 @kikusharda @Krushna_KAS @bharti_lalli @sumona24 @RochelleMRao @trulyedward @haanjichandan @Banijayasia pic.twitter.com/NWFDxp9VcT— Sony TV (@SonyTV) February 17, 2019
While the post came just a day after news emerged that Sidhu won't be a part of the show anymore, Archana's entry into the show was done without clarity on whether she is indeed his replacement.
When IANS contacted Archana to get clarity, she said over the phone: "No, I haven't replaced him. I have not received any official information from Sony Entertainment Television or anyone to be a permanent part of the show.
"I shot two episodes for 'The Kapil Sharma Show' before the Pulwama attack. He (Navjot Singh Sidhu) was busy somewhere due to which the channel approached me for shooting two episodes, and I did it."
Will she accept an offer to step into Sidhu's shoes officially?
Archana, known for her natural sense of humour, said it would be wrong to consider this as an "opportunity".
"The context of the whole issue is so serious that for me to consider it as an opportunity would be wrong. I can only consider this request to join the show only once it is made to me. I can't pre-empt the request."
Sidhu was sacked from the comedy show following his remarks that "nations cannot be held responsible for the dastardly acts of terrorists" and that the dialogue with Islamabad should continue. His views drew a lot of criticism.
A source in the know of developments of the show said there were other reasons for Sidhu's ouster as well, but his comments over Pulwama were "surely one of them".
At least 40 CRPF troopers lost their lives in the Pulwama terror attack in which their convoy was attacked. Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad claimed responsibility for it.