In stark contrast to Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi who refused to accept a skull cap from a maulvi at his sadbhavna (goodwill) fast in Ahmedabad in 2011, Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan wore one while greeting Muslims on Eid in Bhopal on Friday.
Chouhan's gesture prompted Bollywood actor Raza Murad, who belongs to Bhopal, to remark, "It is a message to those who refuse to wear a skull cap that you don't become a Hashmat Ali just because you wear one."
Murad said this as he stood beside Chouhan at the Idgah, Bhopal's main mosque, where Congress leaders had also assembled.
The issue threatened to snowball into a controversy by the afternoon when BJP leader Uma Bharti said, "I am really hurt that a C-grade actor standing beside our CM poked fun at Narendra Modi. I will raise the issue at the appropriate party forum."
Chouhan reacted by telling mediapersons later, "It was Eid, an occasion to celebrate mutual love and brotherhood, and nobody should distort its spirit by giving it a political colour."