New Delhi: Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan on Wednesday came under sharp attack from a host of leaders over his "extreme intolerance" remark, but Shiv Sena jumped into his defence and said that he should not be targeted just because he is a Muslim.
Controversial BJP MP Yogi Adityanath today compared Shah Rukh Khan to Pakistani terrorist and 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed, and said both are speaking the same language of terror and that he did not see any difference in their language.
Adityanath also suggested that the actor can go to Pakistan.
Adityanath, the MP from Gorakhpur, further said that Shah Rukh should keep in mind that if the "majority community" in the country would boycott his films then he would have to roam on the streets like a "common Muslim".
Shah Rukh had on Monday added his voice to the protest by the intelligentsia against the 'climate of intolerance' and said that there was "extreme intolerance" in the country.
Just yesterday, another BJP leader Kailash Vijayvargiya had painted the actor as "anti-nationalist" and said his "soul" is in Pakistan though he lives in India. He, however, today withdrew his controversial remarks but he refused to apologise.
Vijayvagriya claimed his tweets yesterday were misconstrued but asserted that had there been intolerance in India, Shah Rukh would not have been the most popular actor after Amitabh Bachchan.
Sadhvi Prachi, a controversial Hindutva leader, had also hit out at Shah Rukh yesterday, dubbing him a "Pakistani agent" for his comment.
BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi also did not spare Shah Rukh and claimed today that he had aired such views following an "Enforcement Directorate notice".
"I want the world to know that he (Shah Rukh) received an ED notice on October 26 and India became intolerant on the 1st or 2nd of November," Lekhi said.
Yoga guru Baba Ramdev also joined the hate storm against Shah Rukh Khan today and asked him to return the money earned after receiving the prestigious Padma Shri award to the Prime Minister's Relief Fund.
"If he (Shah Rukh Khan) is a true patriot, he should return all the money he earned after winning the Padma Shri to the Prime Ministers' relief fund, in case he plans to return the award."
The BJP, meanwhile, chose to distance itself from its leaders' remarks.
The party strongly disapproved of Adityanath's controversial comments and termed them "uncalled for" which did not reflect in any way the core belief of the party or Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Heaping praise on the Bollywood superstar, BJP said there cannot be any comparison between a law-abiding Indian citizen and a Pakistani terrorist, more so Khan who is a much-loved and respected national.
The Shiv Sena, meanwhile, came out in full support of the Bollywood actor and said the superstar should not be targeted only because he is a Muslim and that the minority community in India is "tolerant".
"This country is tolerant and the Muslims are tolerant as well. Shah Rukh Khan should not be targeted only because he is a Muslim," Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut told PTI.
"Shah Rukh Khan is a superstar only because the country is tolerant and has never thought in the name of religion," the Sena leader said.
(With PTI inputs)