Sealink function being politicised, says man who invited Big B
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Last Updated: Friday, March 26, 2010, 16:50
Mumbai: The man at the centre of controversy over superstar Amitabh Bachchan's presence at the function to inaugurate second phase of Worli-Bandra sealink says the issue is being "politicised" by those having vested interests.

"I invited Bachchan as he is an icon and the function was also about an iconic structure of Mumbai. It is sad that some vested interests are politicising the issue," Jaidutt Kshirsagar, Maharashtra PWD (public undertakings) minister, said.

Soon after Ashok Chavan threw open the second carriageway of the sealink, commissioned by Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC), controversy erupted over Bachchan's presence at the function, with some local Congressmen smelling a conspiracy against the Gandhi family with whom the Bachchans do not enjoy cordial ties they once did.

Defending the decision to invite the superstar, Kshirsagar, who is the chairman of MSRDC, said the objective behind inviting Bachchan and cricketer Sachin Tendulkar was that the presence of these icons would befit the stature of the mega structure.

"We could not get confirmation from Tendulkar. We got confirmation from Bachchan at the last moment. By then, invitation cards had already been printed. So his name was not there on the cards," the Minister said.

On the Chief Minister's statement that he was not aware if Bachchan was invited, Kshirsagar said, "there was no need to inform him as the department is headed by me."

Asked if MSRDC, which is nodal agency for many big-ticket projects, would invite Bachchan for the launch of any new projects, the Minister said, "why only Bachchan? We will invite icons as our objective is to showcase the iconic image of our superstructures.

"After the sealink function on Wednesday, Chavan had indicated the unhappiness in the party over the invite to Bachchan, a friend-turned-foe of the party, and exclusion of some Congress leaders from the function organised by the PWD Ministry headed by coalition partner NCP.

"Mumbai Congress president Kripashankar Singh has said invitations were not given to them," Chavan had said.

Singh says he has briefed Congress high command on the "insult" meted out by the coalition partner.


First Published: Friday, March 26, 2010, 16:50

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