Mumbai: Trying to project a holier-than-thou attitude, MNS chief Raj Thackeray targeted the Shiv Sena for not criticising Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan despite sharing a dais with Pakistani artistes while spewing fire at Shah Rukh Khan for his advocacy of Pakistani cricketers.
"They are demanding an apology from Khan for his remarks on Pakistani players. But Bachchan was seen a couple of days ago sharing the dais with Pakistani artistes and reciting poems. If Khan has to apologise, then why not Bachchan," Raj Thackeray asked at a press conference here.
Raj Thackeray, the estranged nephew of Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray, questioned the party`s "double standards" while pointing out that Bachchan had close family ties with the Thackerays.
"Why only Khan should be targeted?" he asked. The MNS chief made it clear that his party would not protest against Shah Rukh`s new movie "My Name Is Khan", which is set for release Friday.
He opined that SRK is being targeted only for publicity. “Why is so much controversy/noise being made of this whole thing. We won’t protest against the film,” he
Raj Thackeray, however, did not refer to the Shiv Sena by name.
However, he also questioned Shah Rukh’s comments on IPL players, he said, “Why Shah Rukh Khan spoke (for Pakistani cricketers), was it for film`s publicity? I don’t know, but if he did have sympathy for Pakistan or its players why didn’t he take players during auction it’s a mystery.”
The Shiv Sena has come out against the release of "My Name is Khan" after Shah Rukh refused to apologize for suggesting that Pakistani cricketers should have been picked for the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL).
According to the Shiv Sena, the Pakistani cricketers need to be boycotted because of Islamabad`s support to terrorism in India.
The advance bookings for the movie were stalled in Mumbai Wednesday due to attacks by Shiv Sena activists on cinemas.
“I will protest only if it hurts the interest of Marathis,” said Raj.
The cast and crew of "My Name is Khan" are attending its premiere in Abu Dhabi and later head to Europe for a screening at the Berlin film festival.
"I hope better sense prevails in Mumbai. We have worked really hard on the movie and we just want people to watch the movie," Khan said at a press conference in Abu Dhabi.
(With agency inputs)