Congress targets Amitabh Bachchan over Modi govt's 2nd anniversary event, says 'wrong message being sent'
The Congress on Wednesday attacked actor Amitabh Bachchan and raked up the Panama Papers controversy.
Delhi: The Congress on Wednesday attacked Amitabh Bachchan and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the light of mega star's name figuring in the Panama Papers expose and questioned as to why the actor had been chosen to host a show in Delhi to celebrate two years BJP-led NDA government in power.
Addressing a press conference in the national capital, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala asked that when PM Modi had promised to bring back black money and punish each person who was involved, would it not send a wrong message to all investigative agencies when a person accused of money laundering was seen hosting a program to celebrate two years of the BJP-led NDA government.
"Would it be fair? What message it would send to investigating agencies going into siphoning of funds abroad illegally when they see the Prime Minister sharing dais with the accused," he said.
However, the Congress leader added, "Everyone in India loves Amitabh Bachchan as an artist and as an elder."
But at the same time, he asserted, "He has denied charges and he may be proved innocent, but for now it sends the wrong message."
Meanwhile, clarifying over the matter, Bachchan said that it would be actor R Madhavan and not him, who would host the event.
The actor added that he was only hosting a small segment of the programme on the 'Beti Bachao Beti Padhao' scheme, for which he is the brand ambassador.
"I am not hosting the show. I am only doing one segment which is concerned with the Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao initiative, which is very close to my heart," a statement issued by his PR firm stated.
The 73-year-old star also said that he does not think they (Congress) are aware that he was not hosting the event.
On the other hand, his son Abhishek Bachchan also backed his father and said at an event, "He (Amitabh) is not hosting any political event. He is part of a function where he is talking about educating the girl child, that is not a political event."
A mega show ('Zara Muskura Do') is set to take place on May 28 at the India Gate, featuring host of prominent faces from Bollywood, on the completion of two years of NDA government.
As for the BJP, it came out in strong defence of Bachchan for his association with the event despite a probe against him after his name appeared in Panama papers expose.
A host of BJP leaders, including Union Ministers said the probe against Bachchan has nothing to do with the event linked with a social issue of protecting the girl child and attacked Congress for its "mental disability" in fuelling a row.
BJP leader and Law Minister DV Sadananda Gowda said the probe into Bachchan's name cropping up in Panama Papers will have no effect if he attends the event.
"See, practically, participation of Amitabh Bachchan and the investigation with regards to Panama Papers, certainly, it will not have any connectivity. Investigation will be done by an independent agency, they will take care of things," he said.
Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma said the mega star is only hosting a programme and he is not yet proven guilty by any court.
"You may have questions, but has he been labelled guilty for that. His name has come. Let the court of law take action. If somebody is hosting a programme for celebrating our two years and he is not a criminal, he is a respected person of society. If his name has come, let the court of law take action," he said.
The Panama Papers - based on an investigation by over 100 news organisations around the world - is a global list revealing offshore links of over 500 Indians, including Amitabh.
Amitabh has denied links with any of the offshore companies.
(With Agency inputs)