Hindi actor Salman Khan on Tuesday lauded Narendra Modi for development in Gujarat, but stopped short of publicly endorsing him as the future prime minister, saying “the best man should become the PM.”
“God should decide who is the best man for the country and the best man should be the PM,” Khan, who was in town for promoting his film Jai Ho, told reporters at Ghatlodia in the city standing alongside Mr. Modi, BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, during the annual kite festival organised as part of Makar Sankranti festival.
Notwithstanding persistent media queries about whether he backed the Gujarat Chief Minister as next prime minister, Salman, whose remarks have often set off controversies, refused to be drawn into a fresh one.
“I belong to the film line. I can clearly answer questions on films. On politics, because of my limited knowledge I will not be able to give clear answers. If I begin answering your questions, I will get trapped,” Salman, apparently wiser with experience, said.
“Modi Saheb should definitely get whatever is in his destiny, he must. Modi Saheb has brought so much progress to Gujarat,” the actor said.
With journalists still not giving up trying to prod the actor into making a clear statement about his prime ministerial preference, he said, “I am not from Gujarat. I come from Bandra in Mumbai and for me the best candidates are Baba Siddique and Priya Dutt. My agreeing or disagreeing will not matter much.
“For you Modi Saheb is the best man and for me it is Baba Siddique and Priya Dutt. May the best win,” Salman said as crowd chanted Modi! Modi!
“I like him very much. He is a great man, he is doing a lot for the state. I wish Modi Saheb all the best in his life,” Salman said.
Baba Siddique represent Bandra in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly, while Priya Dutt represents Mumbai North Central constituency in the Lok Sabha. Both belong to Congress party.
The actor, who earlier met Mr. Modi over lunch, said, “I wish people of all states shower love on their chief minister the way you do on Modi. This is our first meeting and I want more to come.”
Mr. Modi, sporting a cream-colour jacket and shades, was seen laughing heartily as the actor spoke.
The actor had stirred a major controversy by his remark that 26/11 terror attack had got so much attention because the “elite” were targeted.
“It was the elite that was targeted this time. Five star hotels and stuff. So they panicked. Then they got up and spoke about it. My question is why not before. Attacks have happened in trains and small towns too, but no one talked about it so much,” he had told a Pakistani TV channel, triggering an uproar.