Clearing the air on the supposed delay in signing him as brand ambassador of ‘Atulya Bharat’, actor Amitabh Bachchan on Wednesday said in a statement the he has not been “formally approached for this position”.
The statement comes after reports said that the government sat on their decision to appoint the actor due to his name appearing in the Panama Papers leak reported by The Indian Express.
“There have been queries from the media regarding my being brand ambassador for ‘Atulya Bharat’. I wish to state that I have not been formally approached for this position. The speculation of the media regarding its discontinuance is, therefore, not relevant as far as I am concerned,” said Bachchan in a statement.
“On the Panama disclosures, I wish to state that queries continue to be sent to me by the media. I would humbly request them to kindly direct these to the Government of India where I, as a law abiding citizen have already sent, and shall continue to send, my responses. I stand by my earlier statement on the ‘misuse of my name’ in the matter and in any event the press reports do not disclose any illegal act committed by me,” the statement added.
Bachchan, whose name figured in the Panama Paper leaks as allegedly having links with offshore entities in two tax havens, has already denied any connection with those companies, saying his name may have been “misused”. He also claimed that even the news report had not suggested any wrongdoing on his part.
The Indian Express carried a report based on leaked documents of a Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca which is said to feature links of over 500 Indians to firms and accounts in offshore tax havens.
Referring to the report, Bachchan, 73, said, “I do not know any of the companies referred to by Indian Express – 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.
(With inputs from ANI)