MNS chief Raj Thackeray calls on Salman Khan, BJP frowns

  • PTI, Mumbai
  • Updated: May 08, 2015 09:04 IST

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray on Thursday called on Bollywood actor Salman Khan, who was convicted by a sessions court in the 2002 hit-and-run case and is on interim relief till Friday, at his residence in suburban Bandra.

However, the ruling BJP disapproved of the gesture, saying a politician paying visit to a person convicted by a court of law is not a "good precedent".

Thackeray, known to be close to the actor, met Salman and his family members at his Galaxy apartment in the posh suburb.

The MNS chief did not interact with the media.

Before him, actor-producer Aamir Khan also called on the actor.

Taking a dim view of Thackeray's meeting with the actor, BJP's Mumbai unit chief Ashish Shelar said though calling on a person is a personal issue but one should take cognisance of the verdict in the case.

"Meeting a person at his home is a personal issue. But meeting somebody who has been convicted by court is not a good precedent as far as politicians are concerned," Shelar said in a statement.

Congress leaders, however, sought to downplay the issue by evading a query on the propriety of a politician meeting a convicted person.

When the party's stand was sought on the issue, city unit Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant said he did not want to go into the merit of the issue since it was not clear whether Thackeray had any political intention behind his visit.

He, however, said, "everyone must respect judiciary in the letter and spirit."

Congress MLA Nitesh Rane also met the actor at his residence in suburban Bandra. Nitesh, son of former Maharashtra CM Narayan Rane said that though Salman is disturbed with the verdict, he has remained calm and not lost his composure.

"I have relations with him beyond politics and films. There are certain relations which are beyond our respective works and interests. It was just a friendly visit which I had made without bringing politics in between. Eventually whatever the court has given a verdict, I respect that. If he has done wrong, he has paid for it," Rane told PTI.

"Though he has been disturbed by the verdict, which is very usual, it was good to see he has maintained his composure," Rane, who is a MLA from Kankavali, said.

Salman was on Wednesday sentenced by a sessions court to five years' rigorous imprisonment, but he swiftly moved the Bombay high court which granted him interim relief till Friday when it will hear his plea against conviction.

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