'Many of Akshay's well-wishers feel this controversy has come up because of his interview with Modi to undermine his credibility.'
Akshay Kumar "has never lied about his nationality, never hidden the fact that he has a Canadian passport," a close friend of the star tells Subhash K Jha, adding, "By not being able to vote he doesn't lose his right to make patriotic films."
"After the screening of Twinkle Khanna's cousin's film (Blank), Akshay came out and was answering questions about how he liked the film when this (question on his not voting) was dropped on him," adds the friend.
"Akshay will speak on the issue of his voting rights, but not randomly," the friend points out. "He needs to evaluate the situation and weigh every word."
"He has been upset since this issue was blown up. Many of Akshay's well-wishers feel this controversy has come up because of his interview with Narendra Modi to undermine his credibility. To make the people feel he was unfit for the job (of interviewing the PM)," says the friend.
A new phase in the controversy regarding Akshay Kumar's nationality has been sparked off by writer Apurva Asrani's tweet wondering if the actor should have won the National Award in 2017.
Director Priyadarshan, who headed the jury that year, has defended Akshay's National Award.
Says Priyadarshan, "There is absolutely no restriction on persons holding a non-Indian passport getting a National Award. Believe me, I'd know. I headed the National Award jury in the year Akshay won the Best Actor award. There was no dispute at all over his win."
"The decision to honour his performance in Rustom was unanimous. No rule in the National Awards states that a foreign national should be barred."
Photograph: Kind courtesy Akshay Kumar/Instagram