Kartik, best known for his monologue in "Pyaar Ka Punchnama", was also nowhere to be seen until the closing moments of a "Kaanchi" special episode of TV show "Comedy Nights With Kapil", which had Ghai, his protegee Mishti and veteran actor Mithun Chakraborty as guests. (Agencies)
A source close to the show said: "We were instructed to bring on Kartik only at the end of the show and to focus on Ghai, his latest protegee Mishti and Mithunda."
Kartik says his lack of presence in the promotions could be attributed to the fact that the movie is woman-centric.
"If the film was called 'Kaancha' or 'Kaancha-Kaanchi', I'd have been equally prominent in the publicity," he said.
However, the truth is that Ghai has big plans for him.
A prominent filmmaker who wants to sign Kartik says the star aspirant is being deliberately being kept under wraps.
"I saw 'Pyaar Ka Punchnama' and was impressed enough by Kartik to want to sign him for one of my productions. However, I was told he was under an exclusive contract for Subhash Ghai's next. So I waited. Now Kartik is being kept back as the film's 'bandh mutthi'."
The logic of "Kaanchi" being a woman-centric film doesn't make sense for this producer-director, who didn't wish to be named.
"'Queen' and 'Revolver Rani' are Kangana Ranaut's films through and through. Yet, we see Kangana's leading men Rajkummar Rao and Vir Das next to Kangana at every public event. There is no logic to leaving Kartik out of the publicity just because the new girl (Mishti) is the central character in 'Kaanchi'. I'm sure Subhashji has a plan."
When asked about Kartik, Ghai the 'Showman' said: "I was looking at dozens of faces to play the male lead in 'Kaanchi'. When I saw Kartik, I knew I had found my hero. The film is named after the girl. But Kartik's character is very important."
Kartik, best known for his monologue in "Pyaar Ka Punchnama", was also nowhere to be seen until the closing moments of a "Kaanchi" special episode of TV show "Comedy Nights With Kapil", which had Ghai, his protegee Mishti and veteran actor Mithun Chakraborty as guests.