Amitabh to lay foundation of school in presence of UNPA leaders

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Lucknow, Jan 23 (UNI) Megastar Amitabh Bachchan, in the presence of the leaders of the United National Progressive Alliance (UNPA), will lay the foundation of a girls' school at Barabanki district on January 27.

The occasion is also being seen as the launch of Lok Sabha election campaign by the UNPA in the State in the presence of Mr Bachchan, the unofficial brand ambassador of the political group.

Though there is no official mention of a public meeting at Daulatpur village under Fatehpur block of Barabanki district -- the site of the proposed girls' boarding school -- the presence of UNPA leaders like Chandra Babu Naidu, Farooq Abdullah, Om Prakash Chautala along with Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav and general secretary Amar Singh -- on the occasion will certainly have a political meaning attached to it.

The day will be important for the SP leaders as Mr Amar Singh will be celebrating his birthday on the same day along with his family and the Bachchan family-- Amitabh, Jaya, Abhishek and Aishwarya -- who would be present on the occasion.

According to official sources, the political leaders along with the Bachchans and the Singhs would reach Daulatpur village at around 1100 hrs in four charted helicopters from Lucknow. The dignitaries would stay there for about two hours.

This will be the first time that the Bachchan 'parivar' would visit Daulatpur village after the Allahabad High Court gave relief to the megastar in the government land transfer controversy.

In August 2007, when Bachchan's land in Barabanki got embroiled in a fierce court battle, he had offered to donate the same to the State government suggesting the land be used for building a school.

During the foundation laying ceremony, Mr Bachchan is supposed to unveil a plaque that will carry his family's name. The school is being constructed on a plot on land no 711 and other small plots with an area of about 2 acres, which Bachchan had purchased in Daulatpur village after the government plot got into legal trouble.

Total land being earmarked for the inauguration programme is 0.441 hectre, a tehsildar in Daulatpur, Anil Singh said. He said this is a private land and there is no legal dispute over it. This land is situated near the disputed land that got into a legal connundrum.

Samajwadi Party MLA and former minister Arvind Singh Gope, who is the party in-charge of the function, told UNI here today that the superstar would like to do his best for spreading education in Daulatpur and rest of Barabanki district where women literacy is very low and women have to go far to attend school.

He said though there is no political function on the occasion, the presence of political leaders could add some political colour.

The school is expected to be run by a trust and it is supposed to provide free education to girls from underprivileged families, SP sources said. There had been conflicting reports on the name of the proposed school. While some said it would be named after Bachchan's father late Harivansh Rai, some claimed since Aishwarya was funding the project, it would be named after her.

Superintendent of police of Barabanki Praveen Kumar said all security measures would be made during the function due to presence of several senior leaders.

The Allahabad High court had given Bachchan a clean chit in November last year following his decision to abandon his claim on the land.

UNI MB NAB DS HT1450

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