Lucknow, June 1: As the office-of-profit controversy locks the country’s President and Parliament in a stalemate, the woman with whom it all began shook herself free from its shadow today.
Jaya Bachchan, the lone MP disqualified under the profit law after the row broke out, filed her nomination for a second stint in the Rajya Sabha ' this time immune from any possible accusation of holding an office of profit.
The Samajwadi Party candidate, who arrived in a chocolate-coloured silk sari, went through the same routine as she had done two years ago.
“Bachchan Jaya Amitabh”, as she signed her name in the affidavit, filed her nomination papers at 12.46 pm before the principal secretary to the Uttar Pradesh Speaker and returning officer R.P. Pandey.
At 12.53, she took an oath in support of the declarations she made on her assets and personal background .
“Jaya Bachchan was targeted for harassment by the Congress but she will be voted back to the Rajya Sabha with an overwhelming number of votes now,” declared party general secretary and MP Ramgopal Yadav.
The Samajwadi who’s who had turned out in strength in a show of support. Among those who accompanied Jaya to the Assembly hall were at least 14 ministers led by chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav, his friend and industrialist Subrata Ray Sahara, party general secretary and Rajya Sabha member Amar Singh and film star-turned-MP Jayaprada.
Jaya, who quit as chairperson of the Uttar Pradesh Film Development Board last week, didn’t speak to the media. After filing her papers, she spent about an hour with Mulayam and senior party colleagues at the chief minister’s office.
Muzaffarnagar MP Amir Alam, too, filed his nomination for the June 15 Rajya Sabha bypolls. He is the Samajwadi candidate for the seat that fell vacant after industrialist Anil Ambani, elected as an Independent backed by the party, quit the Rajya Sabha.
As she puts behind her the controversy that has now sucked in powerful politicians from almost every party, Jaya has also shaken off the man who started it all.
She had lost her House seat in March on a complaint by Madan Mohan Shukla, a Kanpur-based Congress leader whom she had defeated in the Rajya Sabha poll two years ago. Shukla ended up annoying party higher-ups when his move opened a Pandora’s box.
State Congress chief Salman Khursheed said his party would not be fielding a candidate this time.