By Subhash K Jha
MUMBAI: Riteish Deshmukh has decided to follow in the footsteps of his late father and former Maharashtra chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh and enter politics.
According to sources close to him, Riteish is all set to join politics. His colleagues from the film industry react:
Raj Babbar: “I think it is a very well thought-out and sensible decision. Riteish is born in a family where politics is a way of life. His father was highly respected and one of the most powerful and influential political figures of Maharashtra. So politics is nothing new to Riteish. He has grown up with it and his father’s constituency and community are completely with him. Also, being a celebrity in his own field of cinema Riteish already has a connectivity with the people. Most important of all I’ve observed how Riteish has conducted himself after his father’s untimely death. The boy has a natural and sincere attachment to the people who loved his father. They are now willing to transfer that love to the son.”
Hema Malini: “Why not? Riteish is very entertaining and funny on screen. I am sure he can utilize his natural skills to be a good politician. Besides that, he has father’s example to follow. He can’t go wrong.”
Shatrughan Sinha: “Knowing Riteish and his father I feel he could make a success out of his career in politics.And why not? Politics is in Riteish’s genes. His father was very close to me. In fact just as people say A R Antulay is the Dilip Kumar of politics, it was said Vilasrao Deshmukh was the Shatrughan Sinha of politics. He called me Shatrubhai from the time when he was studying law. I’ve seen Riteish grow and I feel today he’s ready to step into his father’s arena. So what if actors like Rajesh Khanna have not been so successful in politics? What about Mr Sunil Dutt whose conduct in politics was exemplary? Mr Bachchan came into politics for emotional reasons. Today I feel he is our best candidate to be the President Of India.”