Politicians’ visit to Salman Khan home triggers row

Salman Khan and his father Salim Khan see off Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray outside the actor’s residence in Mumbai on Thursday.

A day after actor Salman Khan was convicted and awarded five years of imprisonment in a 2002 hit-and-run case, celebrities flooded his Bandra residence here to extend support.

But what triggered a controversy was the presence of well-known politicians. Amid them were Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray and Congress MLA Nitesh Rane, son of former Chief Minister Narayan Rane.

On Wednesday, when the verdict was announced, former Congress MLA Baba Saiddiqui was also seen with Mr. Khan’s family.

Both the MNS chief and Mr. Khan share a friendly relationship and have been seen on several public platforms together.

While Mr. Thackeray was unavailable for comment, Mr. Rane said he met Mr. Khan because of their close family ties.

BJP spokesperson Madhav Bhandari said that since Mr. Khan was convicted of the charges, it was inappropriate for politicians to rush in to show their solidarity.

“It sends a wrong message that you can take the law and judicial process lightly,” he told The Hindu .

BJP MLA and Mumbai party president Ashish Shelar said his visit could not be approved as “political leaders cannot endorse a convicted person.”

Even as BJP leaders criticised the Congress and MNS leaders, their own Mathura MP, actor Hema Malini, on Wednesday came out in support of Mr. Khan. She said she would “pray that Mr. Khan does not get a long jail term.”

Another BJP MP and MoS for Urban Development Babul Supriyo too said that while no special treatment should be given to the actor, his humanitarian work should be kept in mind.

Social media users also criticised Mr. Rane and Mr. Thackeray.

“Raj Thakarey, Nitesh Rane as well as celebs went 2 meet Salman. None care about d victims. After all ppl frm d same breed,” one user tweeted.

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Printable version | May 12, 2022 3:29:02 pm |