Jaya lands in fresh trouble

Read more below

By BISWAJEET BANERJEE in Lucknow
  • Published 25.06.08
  •  

Lucknow, June 24: Barabanki now threatens to cost Jaya Bachchan her Rajya Sabha seat a second time in two years, months after giving husband Amitabh a bloody nose in the “farmer” controversy.

The Election Commission has asked Lucknow police to file a criminal case against the Samajwadi Party MP, who had resigned her seat over the office-of-profit row in March 2006 before being elected again.

This time Jaya is accused of concealing, in her affidavit for the June 2006 Rajya Sabha elections, facts about two plots in Barabanki district on which the Bachchans plan to build the Aishwarya Rai Bachchan Inter College.

Jaya’s affidavit, filed on June 1 that year, showed only one plot of 0.25 hectare in Amitabh’s name. It failed to mention two other plots, measuring 1.3 and 1.5 hectares, also allegedly bought in Amitabh’s name at Daulatpur village, Barabanki, on May 15, 2006.

“The land mentioned in the affidavit was the same land that Amitabh had bought to acquire a farmer’s status. Amitabh surrendered this plot to the gram samaj when it came to light that it belonged to the gram sabha,” said Congress leader Amir Haider, who had complained to the poll panel in October 2006 about Jaya’s omission.

Following the poll commission’s directives, the principal secretary of the Assembly, Rajendra Prasad Pandey, has asked the senior superintendent of police (SSP), Lucknow, to lodge a criminal case against Jaya.

“A preliminary inquiry has found Mrs Bachchan guilty of concealment of facts while filing her affidavit…. The district police chief has been asked to register a case,” Pandey told The Telegraph.

If found guilty, Jaya might lose her Rajya Sabha seat.

SSP Akhil Kumar, however, has decided not to file an FIR immediately. “We are seeking legal opinion,” he said but did not specify how much time the probe would take.

That decision may have a political overtone, since chief minister Mayavati would not want to give the Samajwadis any opportunity to start a political campaign against her.

Haider said he would move court if the police did not file a complaint.