The Congress on Monday upped its ante against Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan, asking him to clear his stand on the 2002 riots in Gujarat and also explain if he “endorses or condemns” chief minister Narendra Modi’s role in the “pogrom”.
“Let me ask Amitabh Bachchan a direct question,” said Congress spokesman Manish Tewari. “Does he, as a brand ambassador of Gujarat, endorse or condemn the mass murder of 2002 and the fake encounters that took place after Modi took over? Also, does he condemn or endorse Modi’s role in the riots?”
The statement came after Modi blogged in support of Bachchan, criticising those opposing his presence at the inauguration of a carriageway of the Bandra-Worli sea link in Mumbai last Wednesday.
“These Talibans of untouchability have lost all their sensibilities in their pursuit of anti-Gujarat attitudes…. Friends, my heart is still unwilling to believe that these Talibans are unaware of the damage they are causing to this nation and to our society,” Modi wrote.
Modi was “frustrated” after being questioned by a Special Investigating Team for about 10 hours, responded I&B Minister Ambika Soni.
It all began with Bachchan sharing the dais with Maharashtra CM Ashok Chavan. Many in the Congress took potshots at Chavan for doing so.
To avoid being seen with Bachchan again, Chavan attended the Pune literary meet on Saturday, a day before he was scheduled to be there.
Congress sources said the central leadership has been under pressure not only from its Maharashtra unit but Gujarat also to “cut off all ties” and “avoid sharing stage” with Bachchan after he agreed to become the brand ambassador of Gujarat under Modi’s rule.