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Raj Thackeray: I still don’t know why Shah Rukh met me before Raees

It was believed that Khan met the politician to avoid any controversy as Raees starred Pakistani actress Mahira Khan. 

Keyur Seta

Shah Rukh Khan had met Raj Thackeray, the head of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), few weeks before the release of his film Raees. It was believed that he met the politician to avoid any controversy as the film starred Pakistani actress Mahira Khan. MNS had threatened the release of films starring actors from across the border in the wake of the Uri attacks at the end of September 2016. 

But now, Thackeray has said that he is still not aware why Shah Rukh wanted to meet him. 

Talking to a news channel, Thackeray said, “Shah Rukh Khan came to my place. I still don’t know why came to meet me. The matter of Pakistani actors working in three films (Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, Dear Zindagi and Raees) was already solved. There was some news about Mahira Khan promoting the film in India. I hadn’t given any reaction to this. Maybe this was the reason he came (laughs).” 

Shah Rukh initiated the talks through Amey Khopkar, an MNS leader. “He said Shah Rukh wants to meet me. I told him if he is eager to get some controversy for his film, I am not game for it. I asked Amey to tell him that I know their stand and it’s fine,” added the MNS head. 

But Shah Rukh insisted on meeting Thackeray. “He initially said they still need to shoot the film for a couple of days. I thought I hope he doesn’t wish to call her (Mahira) back to India for the shoot. He said he wished to shoot for the film in Dubai and asked if I have had a problem with it. Is the Sheikh of Dubai my father? He also said they are not going to call Mahira in India to promote the film.”

Thackeray added, “I liked what he said next. He said, ‘Why would we need Mahira? The film has Shah Rukh Khan.’”

Lastly, Thackeray took a dig at Bollywood for casting Pakistani actors all these years. “He (Shah Rukh) agreed to not hire any Pakistani actors in the future. If they are ready to do this, then stopping movies from releasing is not my business. I had advised this so many times. I think finally they have understood it,” he added.