In an oblique disapproval of Bollywood superstar Salman Khan's meeting with BJP's PM candidate Narendra Modi in Ahmedabad today, senior Congress leader and External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid has said the "past events" should not be forgotten.
"...Aap Salman Khan saab ki baat kare ya meri baat kare, har ek ko haq hai ki apni bachchon ki hifazat ke liye soche aur soch ke faisla kare (Whether you are talking about Salman Khan or me, everybody has the right to think about the safety of his or her children and arrive at an informed decision).
"...Lekin han tarikh se sikhna chahiye ki kya hua tha, kya kya dekh chuke hain...Jo saamne log aa rahe hai unke haton ka rang kya hai aur unke kiye hue karname kitne kale hai ya kitne safed hai. Yeh hamey sochna chahiye aur fir apna faisla karna chahiye...(We must learn from the past what had happened, what we had seen. We must know the credentials of those people coming forward (to lead the country) and whether the acts committed by them are good or bad," Khurshid said in an indirect reference to 2002 Gujarat communal riots."One should act only after considering all these aspects," he added.
He was responding to a query on Salman Khan meeting Modi in Ahmedabad and flying kites with him at the annual Kite Festival to mark "Makar Sankranti".
Khurshid was in the city to attend a programme organised by the All India Khilafat Committee to mark Eid-e-Miladun-Nabi at Byculla here. Khurshid said in democracy, anybody can join hands with people of his choice. "..But we should think of how our children will go ahead in their life and stay safe", he added.
Asked to comment on Salman Khan's statement that the "best man should become PM", Khurshid said, "..Be it a film star or any other individual, it is his personal opinion".
Bollywood superstar Salman Khan today savoured lunch and flew kites with Narendra Modi, while lauding him for development in Gujarat, but steered clear of publicly endorsing him as the future prime minister, saying "the best man should become the PM".
"God should decide who is the best man for the country and the best man shoule be the PM," Khan, who was in town for promoting his film 'Jai Ho', told reporters at Ghatlodia in the city standing alongside Modi during the annual kite festival organised as part of Makar Sankranti festival.
Notwithstanding persistent media queries about whether he backed Modi as next prime minister, Salman, whose remarks have often set off controversies, refused to be drawn into a fresh one.
"I belong to the film line. I can clearly answer questions on films. On politics, because of my limited knowledge I will not be able to give clear answers. If I begin answering your quetions, I will get trapped," Salman, apparently wiser with experience, said.
The actor had stirred a major controversy by his remark that 26/11 terror attack had got so much attention because the "elite" were targeted.
"It was the elite that was targeted this time. Five star hotels and stuff. So they panicked. Then they got up and spoke about it. My question is why not before. Attacks have happened in trains and small towns too, but no one talked about it so much," he had told a Pakistani TV channel, triggering an uproar.
"Modi Saheb should definitely get whatever is in his destiny, he must. Modi Saheb has brought so much progress to Gujarat," the actor said.
With journalists still not giving up trying to prod the superstar into making a clear statement about his prime ministerial preference, he said,"I am not from Gujarat. I come from Bandra in Mumbai and for me the best candidates are Baba Siddique and Priya Dutt. My agreeing or disagreeing will not matter much.
"For you Modi Saheb is the best man and for me it is Baba Siddique and Priya Dutt. May the best win," Salman said as crowd chanted Modi! Modi!
"I like him very much. He is a great man, he is doing a lot for the state. I wish Modi Saheb all the best in his life," Salman said.
The actor, who earlier met Modi over lunch, said," I wish people of all states shower love on their chief minister the way you do on Modi. This is our first meeting and I want more to come."
Modi, sporting a cream-colour jacket and shades, was seen laughing heartily as the actor spoke.