over Income Tax authorities slapping a Rs four crore notice on ailing
superstar Amitabh Bachchan, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mulayam Singh
Yadav today said it was ''an inhuman act against a national icon.''
''It was a blatantly inhuman act as Amitabh Bachchan was struggling
with his life when the income tax notice came to him,'' Mr Yadav told a
The Chief Minister said he had raised the issue with Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister P Chidambaram during his meeting
with them here yesterday.
''Amitabh Bachchan is a national asset who has brought laurels to the
country through his art. He is a widely revered person and such a rude
treatment betrays petty-mindedness of those in power,'' he said.
He also condemned the last-minute withdrawal of invitation to Mr
Bachchan, who was to be the chief guest at the just-concluded
International Film Festival of India (IFFI) at Goa becuase of his
perceived proximity to the Samajwadi Party.
''Mr Bachchan is not a member of the Samajwadi Party; it is his wife
Jaya Bachchan who represents the party in the Rajya Sabha,'' he said.
Pointing out that national icons transcend political affiliations, he
said the BJP had nominated Lata Mangeshkar to the Rajya Sabha. ''Does
it mean she belongs to the BJP?'' he queried.
He also cited the instance of famous Hindi litterateur Mahadevi Verma
who was nominated to the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council because of
her literary achievements and not because of any party affiliation.
Mr Yadav said the popularity of Amitabh Bachchan could be gauged from
the fact that people all over the country prayed while he was waging a
survival battle. ''Do they consider all of them as Samajwadi Party
supporters?" he quipped.
Asked by a reporter whether the Congress was targeting the actor,
previously associated with it, the Chief Minister said, ''The string of
events are a pointer to the jealousy that the party nurses against the
actor.'' He said the shabby treatment meted out to the superstar was
against ''all norms of civility and cultural values of our country.''