“I like him (Narendra Modi) very much, I have met him for the first time, I hope we meet more, we get along, He is a great man, he is doing a lot for the state and I wish Modi saab all the very best in life,” said Salman Khan, but he will vote for Congress.
The Bollywood star who had gone to Ahmedabad to promote his upcoming film ‘Jai Ho’ joined the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate for International Kite Festival, only to leave him stumped. As both had lunch, flew kites and laughed heartily, the impatient media and the cheering crowd had gathered to hear the actor endorse the Gujarat chief minister who is now largely seen by many as the man to lead the nation. But Salman, wiser with experience, expertly sidestepped publicly endorsing him as the future prime minister, saying “the best man should become the PM”.
Neither Modi’s supporter nor BJP president Rajnath Singh, who said not only the actor but the nation endorses Modi, could make up that Salman was saying that his vote will go to Congress when he said he will vote for the best people in his constituency like - Baba Siddique and Priya Dutt, both Congress MLA and MP, respectively. And Priya is the sister of another actor and a good friend of Salman, Sanjay Dutt.
Though he praised Modi, as he wished “people of all states shower love on their chief minister the way you do on Modi,” he never endorsed him outrightly. Instead he cleverly said “may the best man win”.
Expectedly, the social media erupted with ardent Modi fans writing on Twitter assuming the meeting and kite flying as endorsement of Modi by the actor for the PM post, few of the many such tweets which read as: Salman for Modi, Congress will cry now and some more, without realising what Salman had done as Modi was grinning standing right beside him.
The actor had in the past triggered an uproar when he remarked that the 26/11 Mumbai terrorist attack got so much attention because the rich people were killed in it. And despite persistent queries about whether he endorsed Modi as PM, this time he backed his opinion of ‘Modi a good man’ by saying that he is from the film industry and has limited knowledge of politics and will get trapped if he said anything.
BJP has often said that they were not for star campaigners, but their PM candidate for 2014 polls sure wore a grin when Salman talked about the developments in Gujarat, where he returned after a period of four years.