The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) has said that Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan has assured their party chief that Pakistani actress Mahira Khan will not promote their upcoming film “Raees” in India.
Shah Rukh on Sunday called on MNS chief Raj Thackeray ahead of the release of his film “Raees”, which features Pakistani actress Mahira Khan.
“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 on Monday. “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 the MNS objected to casting of actors from the neighbouring country in Bollywood movies after the Uri terror attack in which Indian Army personnel were killed. In October, the MNS had staged high-voltage protests against the release of filmmaker 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 to calm tempers.
The Bollywood superstar had previously run into trouble for the release of “My Name is Khan” in 2010, with another right wing party, Shiv Sena, opposing its screening then.
“Raees” releases on January 25. 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 on Sunday.