Indian Express

Shehnai maestro Bismillah Khan’s kin at Rahul’s roadshow, but say nothing political

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Shehnai maestro Bismillah Khan (File photo: PTI) Shehnai maestro Bismillah Khan (File photo: PTI)

The family members of renowned musician Bismillah Khan on Sautuday played shehnai during Rahul Gandhi’s massive road show here but they clarified that there performance was not an endorsement of Congress and should not be seen through prism of politics.

“We would have performed for Narendra Modi and even Arvind Kejriwal. We do not have any political affiliations. No one should mix politics with music,” said Afaque Haider, grandson of the late shehnai maestro.

A number of Khan’s relatives welcomed Gandhi by playing shehnai at Beniabagh area of Varanasi which has been seen as some kind of support to Congress by the family nearly two weeks after it rejected a request by the BJP to become one of the proposers for Narendra Modi when he filed nominations from this temple town.

The BJP also played down the issue. The party said the family members of the late shehnai maestro are apolitical and had also performed during a dinner in favour of Narendra Modi last night at a hotel where BJP leaders Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley and Amit Shah were present.

“No one should see any politics in our performance today. It was not to endorse or extend support to anybody. We were invited and that is why we came here to perform,” Haider said.

The family members of Khan played Mahatma Gandhi’s favourite bhajan ‘Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram’ and a large portrait of Khan formed the back ground of the performance.

Days after Modi took on Rahul Gandhi in Amethi, the Congress Vice President on Saturday retaliated with a massive road show for Congress’ Ajay Rai on the last day of campaigning in this temple town.

The presence of BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate Modi and Aam Aadmi Party’s Arvind Kejriwal in the political battle here has made it one of the most keenly watched fights of the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

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