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Jaya will be back, bigger, better

If SP general secretary Amar Singh is to be believed, not only will Jaya contest the RS seat but will be his party's media face.

india Updated: May 15, 2006 01:19 IST

In all probability, Congress president Sonia Gandhi will be in the Lok Sabha when it debates a bill seeking to place certain offices of profit in the exempt list of the Parliament (Prevention of Disqualification) Act, 1959. But will Jaya Bachchan also reclaim the Rajya Sabha seat she lost under the old law?

It was the Samajwadi Party MP's ejection from the Upper House by the President on the advice of the Election Commission that forced Sonia's resignation amid questions whether the NAC chair she held was also an office of profit.

If SP general secretary Amar Singh is to be believed, not only will Jaya contest the RS seat but will be his party's media face and publicist in the 2007 assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh. "The delay isn't on our part. It's the EC that is holding back the by-election to the seat," he told the Hindustan Times. "But her membership should be automatically restored if the legislation is retrospectively applicable."

Singh's argument for Jaya's automatic re-instatement as RS member could set the stage for another political bout between the SP and the government. From all available indications, the draft bill does not address cases where disqualification has already happened.

Insisting that the complainant in the disqualification case was only a front, Singh said the Congress couldn't exonerate itself of the conspiracy against Amitabh Bachchan's spouse. He then went on to remark tongue-in-cheek: "Jaya will be in the House of Lords and Sonia in the House of Commons the day the EC announces the polls for which the Allahabad High Court had given the green light."

Jaya couldn't be contacted for her comments. But Singh maintained she would return to Parliament and manage the SP's media relations and publicity. Her husband too would lend his face and voice in films and poll-time promos on the UP government's achievements.

Amitabh, in fact, attended the UP Development Council meeting in Lucknow on Friday where Anil Ambani expressed his views by teleconferencing from South Africa. "This gives a lie to remours that our troika has fallen apart. We all are in agreement that Jaya should be back in the Rajya Sabha," claimed Singh.