A 'flying visit' by Bollywood megastar Akshay Kumar for medical treatment to a Nashik doctor has apparently sparked off a social media controversy, though the star himself has not commented on the issue yet.
It was a couple of days ago (July 2) when a chopper carrying Akshay landed at a private helipad in Sapkal Knowledge Hub at Anjaneri-Wadholi on the outskirts of the city, where he was received by several people, and later he reportedly stayed at a local resort.
However, when questioned about this on Saturday in a function here, Maharashtra Food & Civil Supplies Minister Chhagan Bhujbal claimed that he was not aware of the incident coming at the height of the ongoing lockdown.
"I have no information about this. I have sought information from the Collector who granted the permission before commenting on the matter," Bhujbal said.
The local media fired a volley of questions at Bhujbal, including how the actor was permitted to fly in a chopper from Mumbai to Nashik, given the serious Covid-19 situation raging in Nashik, the continuing lockdown with partial relaxations, the heavy rains and other aspects.
There were other questions related to alleged felicitation accorded by the Nashik Police chief and providing a police escort to the actor although the area fell within the jurisdiction of the Nashik Rural Police.
To all this, Bhujbal made it clear that he would not comment without getting full information from the Collector.
Dismissing speculation in some quarters, local officials said that the police escort was intended for the Nashik police chief, which was reportedly misconstrued, but no probe has been ordered into the matter.
Akshay's flight to Nashik has thrown up other questions like the urgency of his medical treatment, especially since even top VVIPs have been avoiding air travel in the current scenario.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray travelled by ferry from Mumbai to Raigad last month to assess the Cyclone Nisarg damage, and drove by road from Mumbai to Solapur for the Ashadhi Ekadashi annual 'puja' at Pandharpur town, while cabinet minister Ashok Chavan last month made a road journey from Nanded to Mumbai for his Covid-19 treatment.