SP protests I-T notice to Amitabh

Nearly 200 of them gathered outside the UP assembly where they burnt effigies of PM and Sonia Gandhi.

india Updated: Jun 12, 2006 22:37 IST

Wearing black sunglasses, Samajwadi Party activists took to streets on Monday to protest an alleged notice by the income tax department to superstar Amitabh Bachchan over the purchase of a pair of shades.

Nearly 200 of them gathered outside the Uttar Pradesh assembly where they burnt effigies of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi, who they pointedly blamed for the "hounding of Amitabh by income tax officials".

Bachchan enjoys close proximity with Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav as well as party general secretary Amar Singh.

Reacting sharply to news reports about the income tax department serving him a notice for purchasing a pair of sunglasses worth Rs 270,000, Bachchan in a statement issued on Sunday termed the story ridiculous.

The department has denied sending him any such notice.

However, what really provoked protests in certain parts of Uttar Pradesh was the rumour that the income tax authorities were after Bachchan simply because of his close association with Amar Singh and the ruling Samajwadi Party.

The demonstrators raised slogans of "Sonia Gandhi murdabad" (down with Sonia Gandhi) and "Manmohan Singh murdabad" (down with Manmohan Singh), and threatened to extend their protest to the entire state if authorities did not stop Bachchan's "harassment".

"Enough is enough and we will not tolerate any further harassment of our idol Amitabh Bachchan," said Samajwadi Party leader Mujibur Rehman 'Babloo', who led the demonstration.

First Published: Jun 12, 2006 17:33 IST