The signing up of actor Amitabh Bachchan as the brand ambassador of Incredible India has been delayed, and the reason is likely to be the appearance of his name in the Panama papers controversy.
Importantly, Amitabh Bachchan had been chosen a few months ago to be part of the high profile campaign to market the country to the tourists abroad. The brand ambassador of Gujarat Tourism, Bachchan's name was reportedly suggested by the Indian PMO (Prime Minister's office).
The tax evasion schemes and money laundering, revealed by the Mossack Fonseca a Panama based company include the names of the mega star Amitabh Bachchan and his daughter-in-law, the former Miss world Aishwarya Rai Bachchan.
Out of the 500 Indians registered with Mossack Fonseca, Amitabh Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s names and documents have been found. The leak revealed that Amitabh were involved with the Panamian firm before the foreign investment regulations were altered in India by the RBI.
However, the actor has denied the alleged links with companies mentioned, saying there has been no wrongdoing and his name had been ‘misused’. Speaking on the behalf of his family refuting all allegations, Amitabh Bachchan says, “I do not know any of the companies referred to…..Sea Bulk Shipping Company Ltd, Lady Shipping Ltd., Treasure Shipping Ltd, and Tramp Shipping Ltd. I have never been a director of any of the above stated companies. It is possible that my name has been misused. I have paid all my taxes including on monies spent by me overseas. Monies that I have remitted overseas have been in compliance with law, including remittances through LRS, after paying Indian taxes. In any event the news report in Indian Express does not even suggest any illegality on my part”.
Earlier there were also speculations specially as revealed by a prominent Indian Politician in opposition ranks, Mr. Amar Singh, revealing that the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is planning to propose Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan’s name for the next President of India. He recently made this revelation in a television interview. The current President, Pranab Mukherjee, completes his term next year. Apart from being the face of many other government programs, Amitabh Bachchan is also the brand ambassador of Gujarat tourism. Interestingly, both the appointments have happened under the rule of Mr. Modi.