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Gandhi-Bachchan battle reaches Assam
March 31, 2006 18:50 IST
The 'battle' of the Bachchans and the Gandhis have reached Assam with both Jaya Bachchan and Sonia Gandhi campaigning in the same constituency on the same day, stretching the battle of bahus from New Delhi to Tinsukia via Lucknow.
The Bachchans are canvassing for Asom Gana Parishad, main contender of Sonia's party in the state, the first phase of which goes to poll on Monday.
Jaya Bachchan was also carrying a statement from husband Amitabh Bachchan, which was read out by the local AGP.
The "bitter" family fight, which has been visible since the late 90s and lately in Parliament in New Delhi on March 23, moved on to Uttar Pradesh and reached far-flung northeast Thursday, with no signs of slowing down.
Congress chief Sonia was in Assam Thursday to campaign for her party. So was Jaya Bachchan for Asom Gana Parishad. Her party, Samajwadi Party, is in an alliance with the AGP in the state.
A closer examination of the recent developments in the lives of these two ladies show their paths have crossed in more ways than just a clash of dates.
Sonia's resignation as member of Parliament and chairperson of National Advisory Council was necessitated following Jaya Bachchan's disqualification from the Rajya Sabha.
Jaya Bachchan was disqualified from the RS by the Election Commission for being the chairperson of Uttar Pradesh Film Development Council, which was identified as a post of profit.
So when the first opportunity of another battle beckoned, both responded and chose the same day to canvas in the same constituency with both drawing sizeable number of voters in their meetings at Tinsukia.
Congress is fighting with its back to the wall to retain the constituency.
In their repective meetings, both chose not to speak on the office of profit controversy and rather concentrated on local issues.
Jaya Bachchan's Thursday's visit to Assam has been construed as a "gimmick" by the Congress party to minimise the hype surrounding Sonia's visit. "The SP barely has a presence in the state and one could think of any possible reason to justify Jaya Bachchan's visit," Congress sources said.
The dignified posture and their families' erstwhile ties might refrain Sonia and Jaya Bachchan from launching personal attacks, but the way their paths have crossed over the years sure make for a Bollywood flick with true colours of Indian politics thrown in.