Jaya Bachchan’s no to Mulayam’s Rajya Sabha offer

Lucknow, May 28 (IANS) Actress-politician Jaya Bachchan has turned down the Samajwadi’s Party offer to re-nominate her to the Rajya Sabha, which party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav Friday blamed attributed it to her husband and Bollywood icon Amitabh Bachchan’s ‘opposition to politics’.

Bachchan, who was renominated for a second term by party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, sent a message from Istanbul, declining the offer due to ‘family reasons’.

The nomination for a second term was seen as a rebuff to Mulayam Singh’s one-time close aide Amar Singh, considered a member of the Bachchan family. Amar Singh was recently expelled from the party.

Virtually holding Amitabh Bachchan responsible for Jaya’s refusal, Mulayam Singh said: ‘Amitabh Bachchan was always opposed to politics and Jaya Bachchan’s decision to turn down our offer was clearly on second thoughts.’

‘We had finalised her name only after making a formal request to her to which she gave

her consent,’ he told reporters here, adding the grounds for her refusal ‘shows that she had chosen to take a holiday from politics at least for the time being’.

Bachchan’s sudden decision to decline the party’s offer was also seen as influenced by Amar Singh, who had criticised the nomination offer on his blog.

Playing down the whole affair, Mulayam Singh did not even mention of Jaya Bachchan’s ‘change of mind’ while addressing a press conference minutes before the news hit the headlines on some TV channels. ‘Yes, Jaya Bachchan has declined to accept re-nomination to the Rajya Sabha,’ he admitted only when reporters rushed back to him and sought his reaction.

He promptly announced senior party leader Mohan Singh as a substitute for Bachchan.

Widely known as a ‘true socialist of the Lohia order’, Mohan Singh is staunch Mulayam Singh loyalist, and had been appointed party spokesman after Amar Singh’s expulsion.