It was a kite flying festival at Ahmedabad which turned into an open season for political kite flying when Salman Khan landed up to launch his new film—and fly a few kites, while a visibly exultant and expectant 'Modi saheb' watched.
The Gujarat Chief Minister is rumoured to have a close friendship with the Bollywood star's father, noted film script writer Salman Khan, and there was tremendious excitement among those present when the star did not mind addressing a press-conference.
Salman Khan has in the past campaigned for South Mumbai Congress MP Milind Deora. His famous patch-up with Shah Rukh Khan was at Congress MLA Baba Siddique's party, and the demeanour of the Chief Minsiter made it seem as if he was all primed up for a clear endorsement.
But "Sallu bhai" as the crowd chanted, refused to give an endorsement to the Gujarat Chief Minsiter, despite persistent media questions about whether he backed Modi as next prime minister.
He also made it clear that he himself votes for Congress MP Priya Dutt and Congress MLA Baba Siddiqui.
A rough transcript of what Salman Khan actually said:
The sky is full of colourful kites in this kite festival. The environment is so colourful. I can see happiness here.
Let God decide who is the best man for Bhaarat.
I have seen so much development in Gujarat. I am not from Gujarat, so it does not matter what I think. It matters what you think. If you want Modi, then you have to do something about it. I am from Mumbai.
I am just here to support. Meeting Modi ji made me happy. Seeing the happiness on your face made me even happier.
All I want to say that whatever is in Modi saheb's destiny should be there in Modi saheb's destiny. He will get whatever is in his destiny.
As far as voting is concerned, it happens constituency-wise. Vote for the best man in your constituency. Who is the best man for you here? (People scream "Modi")
The constituency where I have voting rights is Bandra. People who stand there are Priya Dutt (from Lok Sabha) and Baba Siddiqui (for the Assembly). So you have to give Modi saheb the vote. I have to give my people the vote. I know ke chhota chhota chhota karr ke badaa badaa badaa hota jayega.
You believe Modi has turned Gujarat into a very progressive state? (People scream "yes").
Then who better for you? (People scream "No one")
Not even me? (Mock sigh)
I am from the film line. If you ask me anything related to that, I can answer. But if you ask me anything else, because of my limited knowledge, I will fail. Failing and coming on TV, you won't want it. You will want it as a journalist. But as a person, as a brother even you will not want.
May the best man win, that's it. Desh ka means like you have no idea kitna development hona chahiye. God will decide the best man for the country. Everybody is pareshaan. I hope people from every state will support their CM as much you support yours.
My personal opinion? I really liked meeting Modi saheb. Hope we meet more and we get along. He is a great man and is doing a lot for this state and I wish Modi saheb all the best in life.
Dumb communalists will count even this as a great victory for the Modi-Monster. Also, this repeated myth of huge popular support for Modi in Gujarat persists despite a barely 3% vote share difference bw BJP and INC in 2009 elections.
This rubbish article doesn't deserve any sensible comment.
Please read this and have a laugh -
Media is losing its touch. Probably the effect of holiday. Had they been alert, they would have described it as a major setback for Modi's PM ambitions.