(Photo by SUJIT JAISWAL/AFP via Getty Images)

After months of speculations, it is confirmed that actress Ankita Lokhande is set to return to reprise her popular role of Archana Deshmukh in the sequel to her hugely successful daily soap Pavitra Rishta.

Joining her on the cast will be Indian television heartthrob Shaheer Sheikh who has come onboard to play Manav Deshmukh, a character originally essayed by late actor Sushant Singh Rajput. While Pavitra Rishta aired on ZEE TV, Pavitra Rishta 2.0 has been designed as a streaming show, set to premiere on ALTBalaji.

Talking about the upcoming show, casting director Adityoa Suranna told a publication, Pavitra Rishta 2.0 is completely digital. To be honest, it is a challenge for everybody. The task is not only for me but also for the actors who have been locked. If we have seen something already, we have already set a benchmark. If this was a new show, whatever we would do, would be fresh for people. But already all of us have a benchmark.”

Suranna continued, “It is not only for me but for the actors, directors and for everyone. There are two people (from the old cast), Ankita Lokhande is playing Archana’s part, Usha ma’am is playing her part. We have already seen them and have loved them. But for the rest of the actors, they have a challenge, especially for Manav, for Shaheer Sheikh, it is a big challenge to live up to that space. But at the same time, it is a challenge for directors, me and other actors as well.”

Bankrolled by Ekta Kapoor under Balaji Telefilms, Pavitra Rishta made Ankita Lokhande and Sushant Singh Rajput a household name in India. The show ran from 2009 to 2014 on ZEE TV and remained one of the top-rated shows throughout its run.

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Tags: Ankita Lokhande, Sushant Singh Rajput, Shaheer Sheikh, Ekta Kapoor, Pavitra Rishta, Pavitra Rishta 2.0