The Congress targeted actor Amitabh Bachchan on Wednesday, saying a wrong signal would go to agencies investigating the Panama Papers case if the actor hosted the Narendra Modi-led government’s two-year anniversary celebrations. The actor, however, said he was not hosting any event and was only scheduled to anchor a segment on ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’.
The Panama Papers -- based on an investigation by over 100 other news organisations around the world -- is a global list revealing offshore links of over 500 Indians, including Amitabh and his daughter-in-law Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. Amitabh has denied links with any of the offshore companies.
“When there is an investigation against an individual over black money, and the PM takes part in a programme hosted by that individual, what sort of a message does it send to the investigation agencies? There is a need to keep this in mind,” Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said at a press conference.
The Congress leader said that although Bachchan had denied his involvement in the Panama Papers controversy and “I believe he will be exonerated”, but it (invite) sends a wrong signal to the investigating agencies as well as the nation”.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and most of his ministerial colleague are expected to attend an event at India Gate on May 28 to mark the second anniversary of the government. Reports had said Amitabh was to host the event, but the actor and his son, Abhishek Bachchan, said they were wrong.
“He (Amitabh Bachchan) is not hosting any political event: He is part of a function where he is talking about educating the girl child; that’s not a political event,” Abhishek said after Surjewala’s remark.
The government is organising the event-- ‘Zara Muskura Do’ -- which will have several performances and programmes highlighting its “achievements”. The show will be beamed across the country by Doordarshan.
“I don’t think they (Congress) are aware that I am not hosting the event. I have been invited as the brand ambassador of the ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ campaign. It is up to the government to decide whether to have me there or not,” Amitabh told Times Now, adding he was also a United Nations ambassador for the girl children.