Mumbai: Abhishek Bachchan is no longer part of Ram Gopal Varma's ambitious next project Department. RGV has roped his Dum Maaro Dum co-star actor Rana Daggubati for the role, instead.

Considering it has come immediately after Mid-day published the Dum Maaro Dum SMS fiasco (where Ramu was reportedly accused of revealing the ending of the film and making a dig ot Abhishek) it is quite likely that it has lead to a fallout between the director and the actor who have worked together in Naach, Sarkar, Sarkar Raj and were now going to team up on Department.

This film is touted as Ramu's most expensive project with Amitabh Bachchan playing a gangster-turned-politician and Abhishek Bachchan and Sanjay Dutt playing cops. Now, Rana will reprise Abhishek's role in the film.

A source said, "For the past few months Abhishek stopped responding to Ramu's calls. And after the SMS fiasco it was evident that Ramu will drop Abhishek from Department." Ramu confirms, "Due to certain date hassles I am going ahead with Rana Daggubati."

He adds, "Department is a very high intensity action film and I strongly felt that Rana on account of his looks and strong personality will fit in terrifically into the role."

Asked about the speculation of the fallout with Abhishek over the DMD SMS controversy, he strongly denies, "It's absolutely wrong. I have the highest regard for Amitabh sir and Abhishek. Such trivial things can't affect our friendship." 

Ramu also denies sending texts about the film to anyone. "I am busy shooting my own film A Love Story and did not have time to watch Dum Maaro Dum. So how can I send texts on the film revealing its ending?" 

When asked if Amitabh Bachchan is still part of the film Ramu reveals, "It's too early to speak about the rest of the cast. So far Sanjay Dutt, Kangna Ranaut and Rana have been finalised." 

Abhishek Bachchan remained unavailable for comment.

Rana confirmed, "Ramu met me yesterday and narrated the story. I loved the idea of the film and said yes."