Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar thanked Kiren Rijiju for his "kind words" when the Union Minister tweeted in his support saying "no one can question your patriotism" after a controversy raged over the former's citizenship.
On May 3, Rijiju commended Mr Kumar's efforts towards raising funds for martyrs through the government-backed 'Bharat ke Veer' initiative. Mr Rijiju's tweet was in response to the actor's calirification that he had never hidden the fact that he held a Canadian passport.
Dear @akshaykumar ji, no one can question your patriotism. Your motivation to our Armed Forces personnel and the way you generated funds for our martyrs through #BharatKeVeer programme will remain an example for every patriotic Indian. https://t.co/RdFl2oyKhF— Chowkidar Kiren Rijiju (@KirenRijiju) May 3, 2019
Replying to Rijiju's tweet, Mr Kumar on Tuesday said: "In response to Rijiju's post, Akshay Kumar, "Thank you so much @KirenRijiju Sir, and I apologise for the delayed response. I am grateful for your kind words. Please be assured, my commitment to #BharatKeVeer and to the Indian armed forces would remain steady, no matter what."
Thank you so much @KirenRijiju Sir, and I apologise for the delayed response. I am grateful for your kind words. Please be assured, my commitment to #BharatKeVeer and to the Indian armed forces would remain steady, no matter what ???????? https://t.co/W1298prsEQ— Akshay Kumar (@akshaykumar) May 7, 2019
Akshay Kumar had earlier tweeted, "I really don't understand the unwarranted interest and negativity about my citizenship. I have never hidden or denied that I hold a Canadian passport. It is also equally true that I have not visited Canada in the last seven years. I work in India, and pay all my taxes in India."
He added, "While all these years, I have never needed to prove my love for India to anyone, I find it disappointing that my citizenship issue is constantly dragged into needless controversy, a matter that is personal, legal and non-political, and of no consequence to others. Lastly, I would like to continue contributing in my small way to the causes that I believe in and make India stronger and stronger."
The row erupted after the actor interacted with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a freewheeling "non-political" interview.