Mumbai, April 11 -- Every actor or film-maker who has jumped into politics this season has been asked one question: will your film career take a backseat? And almost everyone has replied with a unanimous "no".
However, here is the first instance of an actor prioritising political campaigning at the cost of his film's promotions. Veteran actor Vinod Khanna's next is a film produced by Suniel Shetty, and directed by Ashu Trikha.
But the actor - a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate - is contesting for the Lok Sabha elections from the Gurdaspur constituency in Punjab. And Khanna has opted to campaign for his party rather than promote the film. Trikha sounds unhappy as he says that the veteran actor, besides campaigning in his constituency, will also be visiting other places in the country.
"We are releasing the film on May 9, and the elections will go on till May 12. I don't know when his constituency work is getting over. The other problem is that he is not campaigning only for his constituency, but has to go to all the places. That's the problem," says Trikha.
Suniel, however, seems to be under the impression that Khanna will indeed be promoting the film in a few places: "I think Vinodji is going to be with us in three or four important places. I don't have the details of it now," he tells us. However, when contacted, Khanna says, "Main kaise campaign chodke aa sakta hu? Meri baat ho chuki hai team se. Unse baat karlo (How can I leave the campaign and come? I've spoken to the film's team about it. Please talk to them)."
The promotional duty will now be shouldered by the director and the producer. "Suniel and I will be going to several cities in India, and places abroad including Dubai and the United Kingdom," Trikha says.