Both the Congress and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) seem to be batting for Shah Rukh Khan as they appealed to the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) to lift the Bollywood star’s five-year ban on entering Wankhede stadium.
Writing a letter to the MCA, seeking revocation of SRK’s ban on his stadium entry, state Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawan said: “After the apology, we feel that it would be in the interest of sports if your esteemed organization shows true sportsman spirit and allows entry to Shri Khan.
“It is not the question of Shri Shah Rukh Khan as an actor, but of any citizen - a ban is not a democratic punishment especially when the person has apologized.”
Meanwhile, MNS chief Raj Thackeray also spoke on similar lines: “(His behaviour) could have been wrong, but he is not a terrorist, that you have stopped him from entering the stadium. He owns one of the teams and it is not right to prevent him watching his team play.”
Reacting to the appeal for lifting the ban, MCA president Ravi Sawant said that the people who were doing so did not bear the brunt of the actor’s rude behaviour at Wankhede in May 2012. Shahrukh was banned by the MCA following a prolonged altercation with the security personnel at Wankhede stadium last year.
The MCA, which manages the Wankhede stadium, on Monday wrote to the Mumbai police to ensure that Shahrukh Khan did not enter Wankhede to watch his team’s match.
The MCA’s move comes in the wake of Shah Rukh’s comments in an interview, sounding sarcastic about the ban. He had said, “I do not want to sound politically incorrect but what will they do if I enter? Shoot me?”. He also joked about masquerading with a mask and fake moustache to gain entry into the stadium to watch his team play.
The actor said he was not taking any chances and would wait outside the Wankhede, cheering for his team. Sawant claimed that it was at the behest of police that the letter was issued.