The state government is convinced that 20th century India’s biggest film icon is also a farmer.
Actor Amitabh Bachchan will retain the 20 acres of land he had purchased some years ago near Lonavla, some 70 km from Mumbai. Maharashtra Revenue Minister Narayan Rane said on Tuesday that the state government would hand over the disputed land to the actor because he had proved his identity as a farmer in the Lucknow bench of the Uttar Pradesh high court.
Bachchan’s land in Pale village near Pavana dam had raked up a controversy after the Uttar Pradesh government had challenged authenticity of the Daulatpur land holding in Uttar Pradesh’s Barabanki district. Bachchan had submitted the Daulatpur land documents to Pune revenue officials while purchasing the Pale land because no person can buy agriculture land in Maharashtra unless he/she already owns farmland in the country.
Rane said the actor would get his land back as the Lucknow High Court had set aside the ruling of a lower court. When the matter was sub-judice in Uttar Pradesh, Bachchan had surrendered his land to the Pune Collector, and he had said in a letter: “I am willing to donate the land to dam-affected people in the area.”
But on Monday, Bachchan withdrew his earlier letter saying that he desired to retain the land for personal use, as reported in Hindustan Times on Tuesday (Bachchan does volte-face). Sub-divisional officer of Wadgaon Maval taluka, Sanjaysinh Chavan, had told Hindustan Times that a final decision would be taken on the new letter after consulting senior officers. In view of Rane’s green signal, the consultation seems to be a mere formality now.