Row over presence at sea link event 'manufactured': Big B

Row over presence at sea link event 'manufactured': Big B

"A fresh controversy has been rapidly manufactured on my involvement... The media has been hounding me since the event at the sea link has got over, through incessant SMSes and the electronic media has followed me even to the theatre where we were seeing Arshad's film," Bachchan wrote in a midnight post on his blog.

Actor Arshad Warsi's film 'Hum Tum Aur Ghost' will be released this week. Resentment brewed in a section of Mumbai Congress over the invite to Bachchan to the function where Chief Minister Ashok Chavan inaugurated the sea link yesterday.

Chavan himself indicated the unhappiness in the party over the invite to Bachchan, a friend-turned-foe of Congress, and exclusion of some party leaders from the function organised by the PWD Ministry headed by Congress' coalition partner NCP, which justified the presence of the actor. Bachchan said he would comment on the controversy later. "But of that (sic) some other time and space," he wrote.

A section of Congress is reportedly unhappy since Bachchan is the brand ambassador of BJP-ruled Gujarat and his relationship with the Gandhi family has been strained. NCP controls the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC), the implementing agency of the sea link. Several Congress leaders said they were not aware that Bachchan would be present at the function. The actor's name was not there on the invitation card, they said.

Asked if it was a mistake to invite him to a function where Bachchan was also invited, the Chief Minister yesterday said, "As it was a government function, adequate care should have been taken about the invitations being sent". However, Public Undertakings Minister Jaidutt Kshirsagar, who is also MSRDC Chairman, justified the decision to invite Bachchan because he was an "icon".

"Bachchan and Sachin Tendulkar are icons and I thought it fit that their presence was required at the inauguration of this iconic bridge," he said. The Mumbai Congress is understood to have conveyed its unhappiness to the party high command about the presence of Bachchan at the function.

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