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Jaya Bachchan lashes out at Sonia Gandhi

Jaya Bachchan lashes out at Sonia Gandhi

Publication: Deccan Chronicle
Date: October 1, 2004

Jaya Bachchan, Samajwadi MP and wife of superstar Amitabh Bachchan, has finally learnt the ropes of politics. She has targeted the Congress for its step motherly treatment to UP and accused the Gandhi family of betrayal.

At an election meeting held in Siddhaur assembly segment in Barabanki district on Thursday, Jaya Bachchan said, "Yeh doosri baar hai jab main aap se vote mangne aayi hoon. Pehli baar jab Amitabh ji Allahabad se chunav lade the to maine unke live vote mange the. Jin logon ne humko rajniti mein aage badhaya, unhone beech mein hi hamara saath chhod diya. Saath tab chhoda jab hum taqleef mein the.

Yeh log hamesha dhokha dete hain. (This is the second time that I am asking for your votes. The first time was when Amitabh was contesting the elections in Allahabad. Those who brought us in politics left us midway. They left us when we were in a crisis. They are known to betray people.)"
Though Bachchan did not take names, the reference was more than obvious. She then hit out at the Congress and said that the centre was targeting Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav on the law and order issue and was deliberately not providing power to Uttar Pradesh even on payment.

Yeh to wohi baat hui - jabra mare roye na de, she added (This is like you hit someone on the jaw and then dont even let him cry). Jaya Bachchan then praised Amar Singh and said, Mere devar Amar Singh sach mein Thakur hain- jo kehte hain woh karte hain. Aap Samajwadi Party ko vote dijiye - yeh log vade aur rishte nibhana jante hain. (My brother-in-law is a real Thakur - he does what he says. Please vote for the Samajwadi Party because these people know how to keep promises and relations.)

This is the first time that a member of the Bachchan family has spoken so strongly against the Gandhis. The two families had been friends for over four and a half decades and it was Amitabh Bachchans friendship with late Rajiv Gandhi that brought him into politics in 1984 when he contested and won the parliamentary elections from Allahabad.

Amitabh Bachchan later resigned after he faced charges of kickbacks in the Bofors case. However, the relationship between the Bachchans and the Gandhis came under severe strain nearly 6 years after Rajiv Gandhis assassination in 1991. In fact, after Gandhis assassination, Bachchan was one of the two family friends- the other being Captain Satish Sharma- on whom Sonia Gandhi and her children relied upon for every major decision- political as well as non-political.

The rift between the Bachchans and the Gandhis widened as the Bachchans grew close to Amar Singh who, incidentally, was never in the good books of the Gandhis. However, the two families maintained a respectable distance and never uttered a word about each other in public. The only time that Bachchan spoke on the cracks in the relationship was when he admitted in an interview to a private news channel that things were no longer the same between the two families.

Jaya Bachchans public outburst against the Gandhis on Thursday has expectedly kicked up a storm in political circles. The Congress reacted sharply to her statements. UPCC spokesman Akhilesh Pratap Singh said, The Gandhis do not need character certificates from anyone - least of all the Bachchans.

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