Mumbai: After controversy erupted over a late night meeting between MNS Chief Raj Thackeray and Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, the latter assured the MNS chief that Pakistani actress Mahira Khan, who also stars in the film, ‘Raees’ will not be part of the its promotion in India.
Speaking to the media, MNS Chief Raj Thackeray said, “Shahrukh Khan came to assure us that Mahira Khan will not be a part of the film’s promotion in India.”
Shah Rukh yesterday called on Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray ahead of the release of his film “Raees”, which features the Pakistani actress.
“Khan told us that the actress is not going to be here for promotion. There will be no more Pakistani actors who would be made part of his movies. We find it suitable and decided not to oppose the release of the movie,” MNS Chitrapat Karmachari Sena chief Amey Khopkar said.”We had already made clear our stand that Pakistani artistes should not be part of Bollywood movies. Shah Rukh Khan approached Raj Thackeray and clarified that the Pakistani actor is not coming to India for the movie promotion,” Khopkar further said.
Opposition Congress, Samajwadi Party (SP) and NCP dubbed Shah Rukh meeting Raj to ensure smooth release of his film as “shameful” and unfortunate and accused the BJP-led Government in Maharashtra of giving “state protection” to the latter.
The SP said the Devendra Fadnavis-led ruling coalition has allowed MNS to run a “parallel government” by giving it undue importance.
“It is a matter of shame for the Fadnavis Government that Shah Rukh had to go at Thackeray’s door to ensure smooth release of his film. This shows the present government has no spine,”
State SP President Abu Asim Azmi said, referring to Shah Rukh’s visit to the MNS chief’s residence yesterday. “I don’t blame Shah Rukh. He must be worried about his film.
But what it shows is that Raj Thackeray is running a parallel government in the state and that is why the actor went to meet him,” said the SP leader.
“This happens when a Government gives undue importance to a political party and its leader is given state protection,” said Azmi, who is also an MLA from Mumbai.
“This is happening when the Raj Thackeray-led party has only one MLA in the Assembly. One can imagine what will be the law and order situation if MNS had more MLAs,” said Azmi.
The issue of Pakistani artistes had created a storm a few months ago when the MNS objected to casting of actors from the neighbouring country in Bollywood movies after the Uri terror attack.
In October, the party staged protests against the release of Karan Johar’s “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil” beacause it featured Pakistani actor Fawad Khan. They later withdrew their protest after assurances from the film fraternity and ‘mediation’ by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
At the time, Fadnavis faced flak for “brokering the deal” with MNS instead of enforcing law and order, amid the row around the release of Karan Johar’s “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil” which featured Pakistani actor Fawad Khan.
SRK had previously run into trouble for the release of “My Name is Khan” in 2010, with Shiv Sena.