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Amitabh unpaid for 'Uttar Pradesh' ad

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007
The Uttar Pradesh government Friday said the previous Samajwadi Party regime spent over Rs 2.3 crore on the TV and newspaper advertisement blitz featuring Bollywood mega superstar Amitabh Bachchan and he was not paid for it.

In a written reply to a question by a Congress member, Chief Minister Mayawati told the assembly that Rs 90,000 were spent on advertisements in 2005-06 and over Rs 2.31 crore in 2006-07 by the Mulayam Singh Yadav government.

She said the artistes featuring in the advertisement campaign titled 'Uttar Pradesh Ban Raha Hai Uttam Pradesh' were not made any payment. Bachchan had figured in the advertisement that was aired on TV channels and published in newspapers during the previous regime some months before the April-May assembly elections in the state.

Meanwhile, the Uttar Pradesh government Thursday said it is seeking legal opinion on the Allahabad High Court order staying a Faizabad court ruling cancelling the allotment of farmland to Bachchan in Barabanki district.

In a written reply to a question by a BJP member in the assembly, Revenue Minister Fagu Singh Chauhan said the land allegedly allotted to Bachchan was investigated by the Faizabad Commissioner.

He said the Commissioner's report has been received by the government and the High Court's order was being examined by legal experts. The Lucknow Bench of the High Court had on June 8 stayed the order of a Faizabad court quashing the allotment of farmland to the megastar's saying it had acted in a "hasty manner."

Bachchan's petition challenging the Faizabad Commissioner's action is pending in the High Court.

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