Bollywood actor Riteish Deshmukh has launched a tirade against Union Minister Piyush Goyal for attacking his late father and former Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh during a meeting with the business community.
Goyal had reportedly said that the late chief minister was only concerned about landing his son a role in a Bollywood film during the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack. “I am from Mumbai. You might remember the 26/11 terror attack. The then Congress government was weak and could not do anything. The then Chief Minister (Vilasrao Deshmukh) had brought a film producer outside Oberoi Hotel while shooting and bombing was going on inside. CM was concerned about getting his child a film role,” Goyal was quoted by India Today.
Riteish took to Twitter to share a full statement slamming Goyal even though he did not name the minister.
Riteish wrote, “Honourable Minister, It is true that I had visited the Taj/Oberoi Hotel but untrue that I was there while the ‘Shooting and Bombing’ was happening as you claimed.” He added that it was ‘true that I had accompanied my father but untrue that he was trying to get me a role in a film.’
— Riteish Deshmukh (@Riteishd) May 13, 2019
“He never ever spoke to a director or a producer to cast me in film & I take pride in that,” Riteish continued. He told Goyal that whilst he had every right to question a chief minister, it was ‘wrong to accuse someone who is not here to defend himself.’
Riteish’s father Vilasrao Deshmukh died in 2012. The Bollywood actor wrote, “A bit late, 7 yrs ago, He would have replied to you.” He concluded his statement by wishing Goyal good luck for his election campaign. He wrote, “My best wishes with your campaign Sir. Love & Regards.”
Goyal’s criticism for a former Congress chief minister was a part of the BJP’s new campaign strategy to build a narrative in favour of national security and patriotism. However, the same party has fielded a terror-accused Sadhvi Pragya Thakur from Bhopal, who had recently made fun of former Maharashtra ATS chief Hemant Karkare’s martyrdom. Karkare, who busted the Hindu terror’s module led by Sadhvi Pragya Thakur and Colonel Purohit, was killed in the line of duty by Pakistani terrorists during the 26/11 terror attacks.