Controversies and criticism
Barabanki land caseIn the runup to the Uttar Pradesh state assembly elections, 2007, Bachchan made a film extolling the virtues of the Mulayam Singh government. His Samajwadi Party was routed, and Mayawati came to power.
On 2 June 2007 a Faizabad court ruled that he had legally acquired agricultural land designated specifically for landless Dalit farmers. It was speculated that he might be investigated on related charges of forgery, as he has allegedly claimed he was a farmer. On 19 July 2007, after the scandal broke out, Bachchan surrendered the land acquired in Barabanki in Uttar Pradesh and Pune. He wrote to the chief minister of Maharashtra, Vilasrao Deshmukh, to donate the lands that were allegedly acquired illegally in Pune. However, the Lucknow Court has put a stay on the land donation and said that the status quo on the land be maintained.
On 12 October 2007, Bachchan abandoned his claim in respect of the land at Daulatpur village in Barabanki district. On 11 December 2007, the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court gave a clean chit to Bachchan in a case pertaining to alleged fraudulent allotment of government land to him in Barabanki district. A single Lucknow bench of Justice said there was no finding that the actor "himself committed any fraud or manipulated any surreptitious entry in the revenue records"
After receiving a positive verdict in Barabanki case, Amitabh Bachchan intimated to Maharashtra government that he did not wish to surrender his land in Maval tehsil of Pune district.
Raj Thackeray's criticism
Responding to Raj's accusations, the actor's wife, SP MP Jaya Bachchan, said that the Bachchans were willing to start a school in Mumbai, provided the MNS leader donated the land to build it. She told the media, "I heard that Raj Thackeray owns huge properties in Maharashtra, in Mumbai—Kohinoor Mills. If he is willing to donate land, we can start a school in the name of Aishwarya here." Raj responded to it saying, "Jaya bachchan claims she does not know me then how come she knows how much property I own?". Amitabh abstained from commenting on the issue. However, he apologized to Raj for controversial remarks from Jaya in some other incidence. "
Bal Thackeray refuted the allegations, stating, "Amitabh Bachchan is an open-minded person, he has great love for Maharashtra, and this is evident on many occasions. The actor has often said that Maharashtra and specially Mumbai has given him great fame and affection. He has also said that what he is today is because of the love people have given him. The people of Mumbai have always acknowledged him as an artiste. It was utter foolishness to make these parochial allegations against him. Amitabh is a global superstar. People all over the world respect him. This cannot be forgotten by anyone. Amitabh should ignore these silly accusations and concentrate on his acting."
On 23 March 2008, more than a month and half after Raj's remarks, Amitabh finally spoke out in an interview to a local tabloid saying, "Random charges are random; they do not deserve the kind of attention you wish me to give." Later, on 28 March at a press conference for the International Indian Film Academy, when asked what his take was on the anti-migrant issue, Amitabh said that it is one's fundamental right to live anywhere in the country and the constitution entitles so. He also stated that he was not affected by Raj's comments.