Singer Babul Supriyo seeks leniency for actor

Playback singer Babul Supriyo apparently can’t hide his affinity for Bollywood heartthrob Salman Khan even after becoming a minister in the Modi government.

Junior urban development minister Supriyo perhaps reacted more like a singer on Wednesday when he termed Salman Khan’s conviction “heart wrenching”. 

The surprised minister of state told reporters outside Parliament; “Heart wrenching, but law takes its course. But in the past, judges have reduced punishment keeping in mind humanitarian work.”

More curious was his follow-up comment: “People shouldn’t think Salman Khan is being given special treatment but humanitarian work should be kept in mind,” raising the question as to whether or not a minister should be making such remarks publicly in a criminal case.

The popular singer, who belongs to West Bengal, had lent his voice to Khan in Hindi movies in the past. Impressed by Narendra Modi, he had joined the BJP and successfully contested the 2014 Lok Sabha elections from Asansole.   Supriyo also attacked singer Abhijeet Bhattacharya for his disparaging comment that “Roads are meant for cars and dogs, not for people sleeping on them”, following Khan’s conviction.

“I definitely don’t support his views since being the union minister of state for urban development, I know the context in which people sleep on the streets. I would like to clarify in person in what context he said this. This is not from a sane state of mind,” Supriyo told a TV channel.

BJP MP from Mathura Hema Malini, famously known as the “dream girl” of Bollywood, also said that she will “pray for a lesser sentence. I have full sympathy with him (Khan).”

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