Actor and vociferous Bharatiya Janata Party supporter Anupam Kher faced the heat over a Twitter post in which he commented on the move of over 600 film and theatre artistes urging people not to vote for the BJP.
Anupam pointed out how some people from the film fraternity were "officially campaigning" for opposition parties by releasing a letter for the public. But it didn't go down well with netizens, as well as actresses Swara Bhasker and Soni Razdan who reminded him of "democracy".
"Some people from my fraternity have issued a letter for public to vote out the present government in elections. In other words, they are officially campaigning for opposition parties. Good! At least there are no pretensions here. Great," he wrote.
The comment was aimed at the letter by artistes, including Amol Palekar, Naseeruddin Shah and Konkona Sen Sharma. They had made a joint appeal to people to "help safeguard the Constitution and our syncretic, secular ethos" by not voting for the BJP.
Reacting to Anupam's tweet, Swara wrote: "Yes, it's called democracy sir."
Anupam replied: "Agreed! As long as it is not confused with intolerance when others use it."
Soni stepped in the debate, and commented: "If you can align yourself to the present government, why would you think others doing the same is any different? Just curious."
Anupam then clarified saying he was just making an "observation".
Unlike Anupam, several celebrities hailed the artistes' appeal to people to vote out the government in the elections.
"Fukrey" actress Richa Chadha wrote: "I applaud the artistes fraternity for taking a stand, rejecting the politics of hate.
"I also understand the motivation of people seeking destruction of the nation's social, moral fabric for temporary gains like cash for tweets and laal batti perks. It is an uncertain industry."
Voting in the seven-phase Lok Sabha elections will begin on April 11 and conclude on May 19.