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Wednesday,27-January-2021

Bollywood

SSR case: Aaditya Thackeray says he is a target of ‘mucky politics’

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With the Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) pointing a needle of suspicion at him, Maharashtra Tourism Minister Aaditya Thackeray on Tuesday broke his silence on late Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajputs case, 50 days after his death.

Terming the allegations and ongoing whisper-campaign against him as ‘low-level dirty politics’, Thackeray Jr. said that so far he has maintained restraint in the matter though he was “not connected to the case in any manner”.

“Maharashtra government is making all-out efforts to combat the Coronavirus pandemic. Given the government’s success and popularity, those who cannot digest it have started to play politics with Sushant Singh Rajput’s case,” Aaditya Thackeray said in a statement.

He said that disgruntled political elements were using unnecessary slander to target the Thackeray family as a whole and him personally, though he took no names.

“It is like licking off the ‘ghee’ from a dead body, which is sickening. Sushant Singh Rajput’s death is sad and shocking. I have absolutely no connection with the case,” Thackeray Jr. said.

He admitted that since Mumbai is the capital of Bollywood, that is a source of employment for thousands of people, he enjoys excellent relations with many in the film industry, which “is not a crime”.

Aaditya Thackeray added that the Mumbai Police and Maharashtra Police, which have a global reputation, are investigating the case in-depth, “but only those who don’t have faith in the law are indulging in such scurrilous allegations to misguide the investigations”.

“I wish to make it clear that I am the grandson of Hindu Hriday Samrat Balasaheb Thackeraya and I will never do anything that will sully the image of Maharashtra, Shiv Sena or the Thackeray family. Those making such cheap allegations must realise this,” Aaditya Thackeray asserted.

He said if anybody has any concrete evidence in the matter, they should approach the police who will investigate it, but nobody should remain under the impression that they can succeed in ruining the image of the government or the Thackeray family by such mudslinging.

Aaditya Thackeray’s statement came shortly after former Shiv Sena Chief Minister and present BJP Rajya Sabha MP Narayan Rane made sensational allegations that both Sushant and his ex-manager Disha Salian were “murdered”.

Rane is the latest entrant to the controversy with several other BJP leaders, including Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis, and sections of Bollywood demanding a CBI probe into Sushant’s case.

Bollywood

Pankaj Tripathi: I know people love me through social media

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Pankaj Tripathi is one of the busiest actors in the Bollywood circuit, but he surprises you by saying he doesn’t quite understand what it means to be a star. However, he gets to know that people love him through social media reactions.

“Nothing has changed. I don’t have an idea if I am a star and I don’t know what it’s like to be a star. I don’t have an idea about stardom. I used to work with honesty and I am doing it with sincerity till now,” Pankaj told IANS.

He is, of course, aware of the love he has won, thanks to social media.

“I know people love me. I get to know about it through social media. Sometimes I feel that the love of the audience is like a fixed deposit with me and I have to give them back with interest. So, the responsibility and trust increases. I have to return the love of the audience with interest,” he said.

Pankaj has a motley of films lined up in the year ahead. He will be seen in “83”, ‘Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar”, “Mumbai Saga” and “Bachchan Pandey”.

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Singer Sonu Nigam meets Yogi Adityanath after visiting Ayodhya

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Well-known singer Sonu Nigam on Monday met Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath at the latter’s official residence in Lucknow.

The Chief Minister gifted the singer a coin launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and a book on Kumbh Mela.

Speaking to the media after the meeting, the singer said, “Yogi Adityanath is a dynamic leader and far-sighted person. I was in Lucknow and had the opportunity to visit the Ram temple in Ayodhya. Tomorrow, I will be going to Kashi Vishwanath. I told the Chief Minister that his thinking is beneficial for the country and he should tell us how we can contribute to nation building.”

Earlier, on Sunday, the singer reached Ayodhya to offer prayers to Lord Ram at the Ram Janmabhoomi temple. He also attended the “aarti”. He said that he wished to present a brick for the Lord Ram temple construction in Ayodhya.

“For years I wanted to come to Ayodhya. Today, my wish has been fulfilled,” he said. The singer also visited Hanuman Garhi temple.

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Actor Sharad Kelkar: People are partying so don’t know why they won’t go to theatres

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New Delhi: Actor Sharad Kelkar during the promotion of the upcoming ZEE5 web-series “Rangbaaz Phirse” in New Delhi on Dec 10, 2019. (Photo: Amlan Paliwal/IANS)

Actor Sharad Kelkar is surprised that the audience is still hesitant to return to the cinema theatres, although other areas of the hospitality and entertainment industry have started to open up, post Covid lockdown.

“People have started going to pubs, coffee shops, restaurants, weddings and even to places like Goa on vacation. People are partying big time, so I don’t know why they are not going to the theatres,” Sharad told IANS.

“Theatres are much safer, and also there is 50 per cent occupancy. Theaters are regularly cleaned and sanitised. This is one of the biggest industries we have, and it is dependent upon the audience. So I’d request everyone that if you can party, you can also go to the theatre,” he added.

Quizzed about how the pandemic and lockdown have affected him, the actor said: “I am known as a workaholic in my friend circle. I am active and love to run around all the time. This pandemic taught me patience. Sitting at home doing nothing was a new experience for me for the first time in the last 18 years that I started working. Not going out to work and not meeting people was initially a little depressing but ultimately I understood that in life you need to be a little patient!”

Sharad, who impressed all playing Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in Ajay Devgn’s blockbuster film Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior last year, reveals he had rejected historical roles for almost 15 years of his acting career.

“I have been getting offers for historical shows right from my initial years when I started doing TV, due to my voice, height and physical structure. But I was always afraid of doing it. There was a fear of having to wear a lot of costumes, which I thought would be tedious. So I almost avoided historical roles for 15 years,” he said.

About Tanhaji and his role in the film, he said: “I never knew a historical film would give me so much appreciation and establishment in the industry. So, I proved myself wrong!”

On the work front, Sharad turns narrator for the upcoming animated series, The Legend Of Hanuman. He will also feature in the Ajay Devgn-starrer Bhuj: The Pride Of India and the forthcoming web series The Family Man 2.

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