Mumbai: Shiv Sena has come out in support of Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar over the citizenship issue saying he is a true Indian and his Canadian nationality is just a technical detail.
“In the past few years, Akshay Kumar has made a huge contribution to the families of martyr soldiers. He is also implementing several initiatives to create a feeling of patriotism among the youths. Hence the row over his citizenship is meaningless,” said the party in an editorial in its mouthpiece Saamana on Saturday.
Sena’s support for Mr Kumar on citizenship issue comes in the wake of a series of accusations made by the BJP and Congress against each other. Prime Minister Narendra Modi in an election rally in Delhi had alleged that former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi had ‘used’ INS Viraat as a “personal taxi for himself and his family, including his Italian in-laws” to take them on a vacation to Lakshadweep.
Followed by this, the Congress also slammed Mr Modi for allegedly taking Mr Kumar, who is a Canadian citizen, with him onboard navy warship INS Sumitra.
“It is childish to rake up the issue of taking Mr Kumar on a naval warship. There is a world of difference between these two incidents,” said the party.
Instead of talking on these issues there is a need to discuss the severe drought conditions in the state, said the editorial.
“We should talk about the threat of acute water shortage and severe drought that Maharashtra is facing. No one is willing to talk on how to save the livestock. There is no water to drink, no food to eat and no fodder for animals. The water stock in Maharashtra is almost over and even Mumbai is likely to face water shortage. It goes to show how severe drought conditions in the rural parts of Maharashtra are,” said the party.
The issue of Akshay’s citizenship emerged when he faced flak from netizens for not casting his vote when his wife, actress-turned-author Twinkle Khanna, was spotted without him at a polling booth.
In a Twitter post he wrote, “I really don’t understand the unwarranted interest and negativity about my citizenship. I have never hidden or denied that I hold a Canadian passport... While all these years, I never saw the need to prove my love for India to anyone, I find it disappointing that my citizenship issue is constantly dragged into needless controversy, a matter that is personal, legal, non-political, and of no consequence to others.”