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Media company says Hindi film awards in Vancouver not linked to BC vote

An Indian media company behind a film awards show being held in Metro Vancouver in April says the B.C. government didn't try to influence the timing of the event to make sure it happened before the provincial election in May.

Some critics, including the NDP, have suggested the Liberal government wanted the Times of India Film Awards held just before the election to try to attract South Asian voters to the party.

But The Times of India group says it's "dismayed" by what it calls inaccurate statements over the timing of the event, which will be held from April 4 to the 6.

The company says no B.C. government official ever suggested the awards must happen before the election, and in fact the company itself insisted on a date between late March and early April.

Times of India Group Chief Operating Officer Sameer Soni says the company wanted to avoid competing award shows in India in January and February, and make sure more Hindi film stars could attend the awards in B.C.

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