As the political storm rages over Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘personal taxi’ allegation against late Rajiv Gandhi, the Congress reminded him about 2016 International Fleet Review, where Bollywood stars Akshay Kumar, his wife Twinkle Khanna and their son Aarav Kumar were present. The Grand Old Party’s social media strategist Divya Spandana took to Twitter and released the photos of the event. Attacking PM Modi, Divya Spandana said: "Yeh teek tha? @narendramodi you took a Canadian citizen @akshaykumar with you on-board INS Sumitra," Spandana tweeted with the hashtag 'sabse bada jhoota Modi (biggest liar Modi)'. Along with the photos, she also posted an old article that had raised the issue of presence of Bollywood star during such a mega military event.
It should be noted that on May 3, putting all speculations to rest, the Bollywood start had opened up about his citizenship and said, “I have never hidden or denied that I hold a Canadian passport.” In light of this revelation, his presence on an Indian warship will definitely stoke a controversy. After all, this was the ‘fleet review’ that saw 48 navies (including India) participating in IFR-16 and were represented by 23 Chiefs of Navies, 24 foreign warships and 25 Heads of Delegations.
While this twist in the tale is yet to be answered by the government or the BJP or Kumar himself, it is also true that the photos of the event went viral. One particular photo showed PM Modi pinching ear of Kumar’s son. ‘Khiladi’ Kumar had also tweeted that photo. “Proud moment in a father's life, when the Prime Minister pulls your son's ear in jest & calls him a good boy ;) (sic).”
The ‘Mint’ report, which Spandana posted had said that, “ The next day Kumar even sailed in the presidential yacht INS Sumitra along with naval chiefs and other VVIPs. In the midst of this, Modi pinched his son’s ears and complimented him on being a good boy and Kumar did what everyone should do at a military event—he took a selfie with Army chief general Dalbir Singh and then tweeted it out.”
Proud moment in a father's life, when the Prime Minister pulls your son's ear in jest & calls him a good boy ;) pic.twitter.com/0NWRyDtWh6— Akshay Kumar (@akshaykumar) February 6, 2016
Apart from Kumar, Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut was also present at the event. Their presence had created quite a stir at that time also. So much so that the then Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had to issue a clarification. "Brand ambassadors have to sell a brand. I don't think they sold anything. There was no contract with them (Akshay and Kangana) and there was no payment. They were invited as guests" Parrikar had said.