Pakistani actress 'Mahira Khan' won't promote 'Raees': MNS says Shah Rukh Khan assured Raj Thackeray

Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan taking selfie along with director Rahul Dholakia, actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui and producer Ritesh Sidhwani during a press conference for the upcoming movie 'Raees' in Mumbai on Wednesday (Photo: PTI)
The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) has said that Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan has assured their party chief Raj Thackeray that Pakistani actress Mahira Khan will not promote their upcoming release "Raees" in India.

Shah Rukh yesterday called upon 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 today.

"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.

The issue of Pakistani artistes had created a storm earlier this year when MNS objected to casting of actors from the neighbouring country in Bollywood movies after the Uri terror attack.

In October, the party had staged high-voltage protests against the release of Karan Johar's "Ae Dil Hai Mushkil" for featuring Pakistani actor Fawad Khan.

But, they later withdrew it after assurances from the film fraternity following 'mediation' by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.

SRK had previously run into trouble for the release of "My Name is Khan" in 2010, with Shiv Sena.

(Reopens BOM9)

Meanwhile, 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.

In October Chief Minister Devendra 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.

"Last time the Chief Minister himself brokered the deal between Thackeray and the makers of 'Ae Dil Hai Mushkil'. Let the people of Maharashtra know what is the deal this time," said Azmi.

MNS has objected to casting of Pakistani actors in Bollywood movies citing the neighbouring nations involvement in terrorist attacks in India.

NCP also attacked Fadnavis for "promoting" Raj and said the twin episodes show there is no rule of law in the state.

Talking to

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel