The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Jaya come, Jaya go
Jaya after taking oath.

New Delhi, July 5: Exit Jaya, enter Jaya.

One Jaya was among Amitabh Bachchan’s most successful reel-life heroines, the other is more than just a successful heroine.

As Jaya Prada departed from the Upper House and appeared in the Lok Sabha, Jaya Bachchan debuted in the Rajya Sabha.

Amitabh is not the only link between the two. Both were elected as members of the Samajwadi Party.

The Bachchan family was present in full strength — Amitabh, son Abhishek and daughter Shweta — to share the hour of glory of the lady of the house. So was the extended clan — the Nandas, the family into which Shweta has married. Friend and fellow parliamentarian Amar Singh and his wife Pankaja and the other Jaya were there, too.

In a cream silk sari, Jaya took oath in Hindi, greeted the MPs with a namaskar and in a gesture that surprised many — given the acrimonious relations between the Congress and Samajwadis — touched human resource development minister Arjun Singh’s feet. Later, she explained Singh was a friend of her father, Taroon Kumar Bhaduri.

As she took her seat next to Amar Singh, Jaya was so enwrapped in her surroundings she did not notice Amitabh trying to catch her eye from the visitors’ gallery until Amar Singh drew her attention to it.

After the ceremony, Jaya was all but forgotten as Amitabh grabbed the spotlight. No one from the visitors’ or the media gallery waited for the other members to take oath once the Bachchans got up to leave. The exit corridor was packed with journalists jostling for sound bites and autographs.

Sharing celebrity space with the Bachchans were Reliance’s Anil Ambani, who was also sworn into the Rajya Sabha today, and his wife Tina. The Bachchans and Ambanis are part of the charmed circle where Mulayam Singh Yadav and Amar Singh play their roles as politicians.

The Ambanis walked past the media, saying nothing — the Mister had, however, been caught in the morning at India Gate jogging. Amitabh and Jaya, used to being in the public eye, stopped.

“Let me first absorb things before reacting,” she said.

“I am happy and proud. As an individual, she is free to choose what she wants,” said he to the media.

And to the MP in the family: “Well done,” as one of those long arms rested on Jaya’s shoulders.

As for Abhishek, well, he made it clear who is the man in the house. “No, I never came (to Parliament) when my father was an MP,” he said.

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