Mahesh Manjrekar is contesting the Lok Sabha elections from the Mumbai North-West constituency.
In this chat, he talks about his close friend Salman Khan not lending him support, other celebrity candidates, and issues related to the film industry that he wants to address.
There are many celebs contesting the Lok Sabha elections this year. Do you think that being famous helps you gain popular support?
I don’t think so. They get the initial attention, but when they speak, people understand whether they are serious or not. Of course, celebs will draw in the crowds, but then, you have to convince people to vote for you. Today, people are smart to know who the serious politicians are.
Rakhi Sawant is contesting from your constituency. Are you afraid of the competition, given that she belongs to the same industry as you?
No. I will ask people to vote for me only if they think I deserve to be the leader. Compare me with other politicians but be fair. Everyone has the right to contest. Rakhi has been very honest about everything; she is a self-made woman. If she feels that she can deliver, she is open to contest.
Will acting and film-making take a back seat if you win?
Acting has already taken a back seat; I’m doing a limited number of films now. But my bread and butter is making films, not politics. The day politics becomes my bread and butter, I know I will become corrupt. I will plan my films according to my Parliament schedule. I will start working on my film with Salman Khan after the elections.
You are close to Salman. Will you ask him to be part of your election campaign?
No. Salman has clearly spoken highly about Gurudas Kamat (Congress candidate). I don’t think he can speak good things about two people fighting from the same constituency. Salman won’t support me. But, I respect him because everybody has their own ideologies. I can be best friends with people who have different ideologies from mine.
What was your motive to get into politics?
I decided to get into politics to be the change. Everybody comes to Mumbai chasing a dream, but it is no more a dream city. The government should provide more opportunities for people to achieve their dreams. I want the government to respect the film industry since we are generating a lot of income through entertainment.
No cold feet, says KRK
Actor Kamaal Rashid Khan (KRK), who tweeted his decision to withdraw his election nomination, says there’s sound reason behind giving up his Samajwadi Party ticket.
KRK tells us, "
Mujhe politics mein aane ka koi shauk nahin tha. Mujhe ek mahine tak Abu Asim Azmi sahab (
state president of Maharashtra Samajwadi Party)
ne request kiya tha to main agree hua tha. But unke bete
ne aisi baatein boli, jiski koi intehaan nahin hai. Yahaan
Mulayam (Singh Yadav) ya Akhilesh (Singh Yadav)
ka koi lena dena nahin hai. Yahaan jo Farhan Azmi ke dil mein ayega, jo
Ayesha Takia (actor and wife of Farhan Azmi)
ke dil mein aaega wo hoga
(sic). (I didn’t want to get into politics but I agreed because Abu Azmi requested me. But, his son Farhan Azmi said some things that went beyond limits. In Mumbai, Mulayam Singh or Akhilesh Yadav’s opinions don’t matter, only Farhan and Ayesha’s do)."