The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Nagma sees mix-up

Mumbai, Feb. 14: Bollywood actor Nagma today denied any links with gangster Dawood Ibrahim's brother Anees and claimed the allegations were aimed at nipping her political career.

'All I can say is this seems like a case of mistaken identity. I have nothing to do with the underworld. These allegations are clearly politically motivated,' Nagma, who joined the Congress last year, told The Telegraph when contacted over phone.

The denial came a day after reports said an accused in a case against two gutka barons had confessed to police that Anees had close links with 'film actress Nagma' and had sent her money through the hawala route.

Zamiruddin alias Jambo's confessional statement was yesterday presented before the chief metropolitan magistrate and sent to the court where the gutka case against Rasiklal Manikchand Dhariwal and J.M. Joshi ' accused of links with the underworld ' is being heard under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act.

Nagma said she returned from Jharkhand last night after two days of campaigning for the second phase of elections. 'The campaigning was very successful. We visited several places in Jharkhand. I was accompanied by R.K. Anand, Congress MP from Nagpur Nitin Raut and my mother,' said the popular south Indian actor who made a move to Bollywood a few years ago. She said she would take legal action after consulting her lawyers.

Asked if Congress president Sonia Gandhi or any senior leader had spoken to her after the allegations, Nagma said: 'No one from either the Congress party or the CBI has spoken to me as yet.'

Officials of the CBI, which is investigating the charges against Dhariwal and Joshi, owners of two gutka brands, refused comment.

However, Nagma, who stars with Victor Banerjee and Sharad Kapoor in the recently released Bengali film Parinam, appeared to have lost her star campaigner status overnight. 'Nagma is only campaigning for the party. She is neither a star campaigner nor a leading campaigner,' Congress spokesperson Anand Sharma said in Delhi.

Sharma said the party would decide later whether or not to deploy her for campaigning for the third and final round of polling in Bihar and Jharkhand.

Sharma, who was fielding questions on Nagma's role in the campaign in the wake of the allegation that she had received money from D-company, said the Congress is a 'votary of clean politics' and has 'never overlooked or remotely endorsed criminalisation of politics'.

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