Salman Khan and Rahul Gandhi – the unusual combo is heady enough to send poll pundits into orbit speculating wildly whether Bollywood’s Bhaijaan is pitching his considerable might behind the Congress Party for the Lok Sabha 2019 elections. At the moment, not much is known besides the exciting fact that a meeting took place at the Mumbai Airport between the actor and politician.
Did they meet by chance? Was Salman on his way out of the city for a shoot when he happened to bump into Rahul who was entering Mumbai on his way to Dhule to kick-start the Congress’ poll campaign in Maharashtra today from the industrial city in the north-west part of the state? Nobody is saying a thing. But spin doctors are going crazy trying to interpret the meaning behind the meeting.
[caption id="attachment_221939" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Salman Khan and Rahul Gandhi at Mumbai's private airport[/caption]
Salman has friends in the Congress Party, but the Bollywood superstar is also known to be close to the BJP and was considered a good omen for the party ever since he spent Makar Sankranti in Ahmedabad flying kites with the party’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi before the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. At that time, Salman had said, “God will decide who is the best man for the country… Modi Saab should be able to fulfil his destiny… may the best man win.”
[caption id="attachment_221911" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Salman Khan with Indian National Congress members[/caption]
The actor was in Gujarat to promote his film Jai Ho that released on January 24, 2014. When he was asked if he was endorsing Modi and the BJP, Salman craftily said the voters must decide who is most suitable. “If you think Modi Saab is best for you, vote for him. Vote for the best man in your constituency. For you (addressing Ahmedabad) it’s Modi. In my constituency Bandra in Mumbai, there is Baba Siddiqui and Priya Dutt.”
That Modi went on to win the poll and became Prime Minister is political history. And now Salman Khan, in the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, has met Rahul Gandhi. Is there more to the meeting than an innocent crossing of paths at the airport? Nobody knows. But the Bhaijaan’s being there made the day of every Congressman who had accompanied Rahul to Dhule via Mumbai. They took pictures with the actor. Strangely, Rahul Gandhi is not in the pictures! It can’t be that he was behind the camera, can it?