Congress seeks to put lid on campaign against Amitabh

Last Updated: Wednesday, March 31, 2010 - 20:53

New Delhi: After raising the tempo
against Amitabh Bachchan for becoming the brand ambassador of
Narendra Modi-ruled Gujarat, Congress on Wednesday sought to put a
lid on its campaign against him.

"I have nothing further to add. The matter has
already been commented upon," party spokesperson Jayanthi
Natarajan said to a volley of questions on Bachchan, a friend
turned foe of the Gandhi-Nehru family.

Her answer was the same when asked whether the party
has declared a ceasefire or was adopting a "forgive and
forget" approach towards Bachchan.

To another query whether Bachchan had responded to
queries raised by another Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari
on Monday, asking the actor whether he endorsed or condemned
the 2002 Gujarat riots, Natarajan`s refrain remained the same.

"Does he (Amitabh) condemn the role of Narendra Modi
in the Gujarat pogrom of 2002 or he endorses it?... What does
he say about the Gujarat massacre and fake encounters that
took place since Modi took over," Tewari had asked at the
briefing of the party.

Party sources said Congress leaders felt that there
was no need to take the issue further amid a growing
perception it could boomerang.

The party has apparently asked its spokespersons to
steer clear of the Bachchan issue in order to focus its attack
on Modi in the wake of his questioning by the SIT in
connection with the 2002 riots.

A senior leader said that it was being construed as if
the war of words had become "personal" and was taking the
shape of "Congress versus Bachchan" while it actually is
"Congress versus Modi".

To a query on the party stand on the invitation
extended to Bachchan by its ally NCP for a proposed function
at Sangli in Maharashtra, Natarajan said the matter was
between the actor and the NCP and the party had "nothing to
comment".

She also brushed aside a question regarding IOC
chairman Suresh Kalmadi`s rejection of the demand to make
Bachchan a brand ambassador of the Commonwealth Games.

On questions about the party comparing Modi with
underworld don Dawood Ibrahim yesterday, Natarajan said the
statement was made in a particular context.

"The BJP by definition is a fascist party. Reference
to Dawood was in the context of the Gujarat chief minister
publicising his appearance before the SIT," she said.

"He (Modi) should reflect on the fact that for the
first time a CM was summoned by the SIT on a criminal case,"
she added.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, March 31, 2010 - 20:53

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