ALI PETER JOHN | Political circles were rife about Amitabh Bachchan contesting the election to the Lok Sabha from the Allahabad constituency on a Congress ticket on the request of his childhood friend Rajiv Gandhi who was thrown into the ring of politics after his mother,Mrs. Indira Gandhi was brutally assassinated..
I was curious to know that the truth and called his office and was told that he was shooting at the Captain bungalow in Versova. I rushed to the bungalow where i had witnessed several stars shooting.
I asked Amitabh if the rumours about his contesting elections was through and he point blank said there was no truth in the rumour and that he was not interested in politics at all and was only a friend of Rajiv Gandhi. I left for my office in Nariman point.
I had met Amitabh at 9.30 in the morning and by 3pm , Amitabh was already in Allahabad and had filled his papers to contest the elections from Allahabad against a formidable opponent like H.N.Bahuguna. The odds were entirely against Amitabh,but his campaign took a turn for the better with every passing day. I was in Allahabad during the campaign and could see how people have had already decided to vote for him even if they didnt want to vote for the Congress There devotion towards Amitabh was so total that they even believed that everything good that had happen in Allahabad was because of Amitabh. I had made my own little contribution to Amitabh’ s campaign by bringing out a quick book on the life of Amitabh with sone exclusive photographs which was published in both English and HINDI and was distributed free at all the meeting addressed by Amitabh.
Amitabh won the elections with an unimaginable margin and defeated Bahuguna in such a way that Bahuguna not only lost an election for the first time in his political career, but also quit politics and unfortunately died of a heart attack just months after his defeat.
Amitabh had a stormy time in Parliament and the worse came for him when his name was involved in the Bofors gun scandal. And he quit politics calling it a ‘ cesspool “.
There have been many attempts made to bring back Amitabh to active politics, but he has never changed his mind. It was interesting to know how his name cropped up as a candidate to be the president of India and when I had asked him if it was true, he had said, ‘Ali, you are being too presumptious. It will never happen.