New Delhi, April 1 (Calcutta Tube) The Congress’ attacks on Bollywood mega star Amitabh Bachchan over being brand ambassador of Gujarat have not been at the behest of party president Sonia Gandhi or her MP son Rahul Gandhi, expelled Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh said Thursday.
‘Personally, I have full faith that this whole act (the Congress’ statements) could not have been done at the level of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi,’ Amar Singh, a close friend of Bachchan, said in the latest post on his blog.
Amar Singh said he had interacted many times with the top leadership of the Congress on political issues but had not found any streak of vindictiveness in them.
The Congress had asked Bachchan to clarify whether he, as brand ambassador for Gujarat, endorsed the 2002 riots in the state even as Chief Minister Narendra Modi himself is being questioned in the matter by a Supreme Court appointed investigation team.
But referring to the Gandhi family, Singh said: ‘The family, whose daughter is sensitive to the killer of her father, the family which has piety even for those who had committed this detestable act, their heart cannot be so harsh to the family of Dr Harivansh Rai Bachchan and Teji Bachchan, leave Amitabh.’
He said proof of this was that Bachchan’s daughter-in-law Aishwarya Rai got the Padma Shri award during the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government’s rule and Bachchan was given the best actor award.
He said some of his associates feel the ‘unnecessary propaganda’ has been started by a person ‘who wanted me to make anti-Congress remarks in my love for Bachchan’.
While Singh has openly criticised Bachchan’s wife Jaya Bachchan for staying put in the Samajwadi Party, he defended the mega star over his acceptance of Modi’s offer to be brand ambassador of Gujarat.
Singh said: ‘Leave Modi to the Supreme Court and the Bachchan family to its art and culture.’
Recounting that he and Bachchan shared the dais at Pune Tuesday, Singh also took a dig at the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) ‘sudden love’ for the actor.
Singh added BJP leader L.K. Advani and the late Pramod Mahajan had rejected Bachchan’s plea to take steps to prevent disruption of the world beauty pageant in Bangalore in 1996.
‘Today, BJP has suddenly realised the actor in Amitabh. Whichever the party, honour and dishonour of an artist should have permanence and should not be based on political self-interest,’ he said.
Asserting that there was a vast difference between the ‘communal politics’ of Modi and promoting tourism in Gujarat, Singh said film director ‘Yash Chopra and actor Shah Rukh Khan had made films on BJP leader and former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and they continued to be close to parties opposed to the BJP as well’.
He said actor Salman Khan too has canvassed for his friends both in the BJP and the Congress.