Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss was on Sunday all praise for Tamil superstar Rajnikanth for not smoking on screen in his last two films and hoped Bollywood biggies would follow the South Indian actor.
Ramadoss, facing an all-round attack from the film fraternity after he made an appeal to movie stars to avoid smoking and drinking on screen, said "When Rajnikanth can do movies without smoking, why can’t anybody else follow?" Rajnikanth’s latest movies -- "Sivaji -- The Boss" and "Chandramukhi" -- did not have any smoking scene, Ramadoss noted and said these were the biggest blockbusters in recent times.
The Tamil superstar quit smoking on screen after Ramadoss made an appeal to him to give up cigarette smoking mannerism on screen. "There were no smoking scenes in Rajnikanth’s last two movies and they were biggest grossers in the history of Indian films," Ramadoss told news channel.
Ramadoss came under the radar of Bollywood stars Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan after he appealed to them to stop smoking in movies. Both the stars hit back at the minister saying they don’t want his advice.
Rajnikanth and the minister’s father and PMK founder S Ramadoss had crossed swords during the release of the actor’s "Baba" in 2002. The PMK founder had accused Rajnikanth, who has a huge fan following across South India, of "spoiling" the younger generation who emulate his "smoking styles" on screen and the actor had even directly campaigned against the party during the 2004 Lok Sabha elections.