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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 October 2005, 13:00 GMT 14:00 UK
India MP in TV 'most wanted' row
Govinda in Bombay
Govinda is an MP from the ruling Congress Party
Bollywood actor and MP, Govinda, has denied having links with the underworld after the release of a video showing him with India's most wanted man.

Govinda, an MP of the ruling Congress party, said the video was a "conspiracy" to "malign" him.

A TV channel showed Govinda meeting Dawood Ibrahim in Dubai in footage the actor said was 16 years old.

Some members of the opposition BJP have called for his resignation and said the matter must be investigated.

Everyone wants to meet [actors] shake hands with them, talk to them... so what can he do?

But a senior Mumbai (Bombay) police official told the BBC News website that they were not planning any immediate action against the actor or to even question him.

Govinda says he has already been cleared by police over the matter.

He said movie stars and celebrities enjoyed tremendous popularity and often met people they did not know.

"Everyone wants to meet them, shake hands with them, talk to them... so what can he do?"

The actor said 25 actors and actresses had been questioned over the incident by police years ago and cleared of any wrongdoing.

But several members of the opposition BJP say the actor should resign on moral grounds or be thrown out of the Congress Party.

'Slush funds'

Mumbai police are investigating several cases against Dawood Ibrahim and believe he was involved in a spate of bombings, including an explosion in Mumbai in 1993 that killed at least 300 people.

Bollywood actors and producers have often been suspected of having ties with the underworld.

The BBC's Monica Chadha in Mumbai says that many films are believed to have been funded with slush money.

In 2003, leading Bollywood financier Bharat Shah was found guilty of withholding information from the police on the film industry's links with the underworld.

His movie, Chori Chori Chupke Chupke (Stealthily, Quietly), was suspected to have been funded by underworld money and Bollywood stars acting in the movie, Salman Khan and Preity Zinta, were also questioned by police.

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