I have Sonia Gandhi's permission to lie low: Govinda

Mumbai, Jan 22 (IANS) Actor-politician Govinda, who is going through a rough patch, says that he'd prefer being a good actor on screen to being a real life hero.

Mumbai, Jan 22 (IANS) Actor-politician Govinda, who is going through a rough patch, says that he'd prefer being a good actor on screen to being a real life hero.

'Let's not even discuss it any longer. I've much more important decisio
ns to make about my future in films and politics,' Govinda, whose last film 'Partner' worked wonders for him at the box office, told IANS in an interview.

His plans to become a political hero have gone down the drain, his colleagues have turned into foes and recently he earned the wrath of the people for slapping an onlooker on the sets of his movie 'Money Hai Toh Honey Hai'.

'I'm just not interested in being a hero in politics. I won't be targeted for sensational stories. I've taken enough rubbish in my life. I feel sorry I couldn't be of more use to my constituency. But what have I done? I don't want to fight with anyone,' added the agitated Congress MP from Mumbai North.

Govinda sees the intruder and his antics on the sets as part of the much larger game plan to bring him and his family down. He blames top politicians among those who are conspiring to discredit him as an actor and politician.

'Ram Naikji has also gone on television making statements against me. He's a senior and supposedly responsible politician. I respect his concern for not showing up in my constituency. In my defence I'll say that I'd rather be a good family man than a good politician,' he said, referring to the former minister who lost against the actor in elections.

'I can name many big politicians who are conspiring against me. A top leader had employed the underworld to teach me a lesson. Unfortunately for them and fortunately for me, the news leaked out. Why should I get into all this? I'd rather be a screen hero than a real-life hero. If I decided to lie low, what wrong I have done?'

He says he won't be intimidated by political elements from his constituency threatening to issue sarcastic ransom amounts to make the star visible in his constituency.

'Earlier, they had said they'd pay Rs.5.1 million to see me in my constituency. Everyone knows the number 51 has much relevance. But let's not go into that. They're equally unhappy with me being and not being in my constituency. Such threats and jibes don't mean anything to me any more,' said Govinda from the sets of his new film.

'Some street level politicians are trying to twist my arms by saying they'd pay Rs.10 million to anyone who brings me to my constituency. It's my constituency, my home. Why do I need these people to scare me into visiting? If I've decided to stay away it's because my life and my family are under severe threat from these very people. And I've my high-command Sonia Gandhiji's permission to lie low...'

Govinda feels he's being provoked out of politics.

'Why shouldn't I safeguard my own interests? As an actor I can even read silences. I can smell the danger. I'm not keen on being perceived as a superhero who is ready to sacrifice everything. I even told Soniaji about how my political opponents are putting me in the same situation as Amitabh Bachchan. She told me to take precautions. Silence was one of them.'

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