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Bachchan wave in Allahabad

The Bachchans are back in their own backyard, Allahabad, in this civic poll season of UP. But it's not the elder charismatic Bachchan who is creating a brouhaha in the sangam city, but his younger brother, Ajitabh, who is making the ripples campaigning for the Congress-backed independent candidate in the Mayoral election slated for 27 June.

Ajitabh is campaigning for Sheeri Wadhawan, contesting the polls as an independent candidate. Sheeri is the wife of former Congress Mayor Ravi Bhushan Wadhawan, whom Ajitabh refers to as a family friend.

'Ït is not political visit. Please do not read politics in my supporting and campaigning for a Congress candidate. It is just helping a family friend who is contesting the polls,' Ajitabh told reporters in Allahabad.

Allahabad happens to be the political arena of Amitabh Bachchan, who at one time was close to Rajiv Gandhi. After the assassination of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, Amitabh contested the 1984 Lok Sabha polls and trounced the legendary figure of UP’s politics, H N Bahuguna.

But the Bofors scandal and surrounding controversies led him to quit politics in a huff, starting a process which gradually also distanced him from the Gandhis.

Ravi Bhushan, though, never left Amitabh out of his sight and senses. The 65-year old politician had formed the Amitabh Bachchan Fans’ Club and campaigned for Amitabh, which brought him close to the Bachchan family. Sources in the Wadhwan camp claim that Ravi Bhushan had initially wanted Amitabh to campaign for his wife, but, with the actor's known differences with the Congress and his closeness to Mulayam Singh Yadav, he finally chose to stay away from the polls. Instead, he sent his Mumbai-based businessman brother to Allahabad.

Ajitabh’s association with Allahabad is not new. He had served as honorary secretary and treasurer of the Kamala Nehru Memorial Hospital in Allahabad from September 1985 to May 1987, but also had to resign in the aftermath of the Bofors controversy.

'The Wadhawans are personal friends. This trip is to honour a good family friendship,' added Ajitabh, after participating in a rally organised by the local Congress workers.
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