Home India Politics NCP minister says he invited Amitabh to event

NCP minister says he invited Amitabh to event


Mumbai : The controversy over Amitabh Bachchan’s presence at the Bandra-Worli Sea Link extension’s inauguration has refused to die down, with a minister from the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) Thursday saying he had invited the Bollywood megastar to the event.

Though an embarrassed Chief Minister Ashok Chavan, who was surprised to see Amitabh at the event, tried to steer clear of the controversy by insisting he was “not aware” of the invite, PWD (Undertakings) Minister Jaidatta Kshirsagar said he had invited Big B for the function.

The Congress was not happy with Amitabh — who is out of favour with the Gandhi family — attending the prestigious event. Not only is Amitabh’s wife Jaya Bachchan an MP from the Samajwadi Party, which has been opposing the Congress in the centre as well as the state, Amitabh is now a brand ambassador of Gujarat, whose Chief Minister Narendra Modi is a political anathema to the Congress.

Mumbai Pradesh Congress Committee chief Kripa Shankar Singh termed Amitabh’s presence as “improper” and claimed that the party was not consulted before inviting the superstar as one of the guests at the event.

Amitabh himself admitted his presence at the event had created “fresh controversy” and clarifies he attended because he was invited by a minister.

“The Rajiv Gandhi Sagari Setu or the Bandra Worli Sea Link was opening up the remaining four tracks on this massive and symbolic structure that connects two regions of the suburb over the sea. I had been invited by the minister in the government to attend and so I went along,” Big B posted on his blog.

“It was a short and sweet ceremony conducted on the road over the bridge itself and then all the dignitaries were invited to cut the ribbon a little further down the track by riding on antique, and old model cars which was an absolute delight,” he said.

“The media has been hounding me since the event at the sea link has got over through incessant SMSes and the electronic (media) has followed me even to the theatre where we were seeing Arshad’s (Warsi) film – a fresh controversy has been rapidly manufactured on my involvement in today’s event on the sea link. But of that some other time and space,” he wrote.