Dream Girl Hema Malini Turns Modi Dream Seller - The New Indian Express

Dream Girl Hema Malini Turns Modi Dream Seller

Published: 14th April 2014 07:38 AM

Last Updated: 14th April 2014 11:38 AM

As the BJP’s filmy campaigner for many  elections and a Rajya Sabha member for some years, Hema Malini is not used to seeking votes for herself. This time is no different. As the Lok Sabha candidate for the first time, contesting from Muthara, Uttar Pradesh, Vrajbhumi of her dreams, Malini is coyly asking for votes in Narendra Modi’s name.

“Press the button on the lotus symbol, your vote for me will reach Modi directly,” that’s the promise she makes to her voters. In between her roadshows, Malini tells this correspondent:”This election, Modi is a bigger dream seller than any dream girl… His name has spread even in the villages and among children.”

To voters, she repeats: “Once Modi becomes the PM, there will development and more development”, and stretches her hand in a smooth dance move complete with a lotus mudra, to ensure the voters who fail understand her accented speech, gets the message. This is repeated in every roadshow. No big meetings for her. Public interactions are restricted to three meetings in the morning and two in the afternoon. She needs her rest and space in the best possible resort-hotel in Mathura, made out of bounds for the locals. Even the adjacent restaurant has been shut down.

Unlike the other two southern divas, Jaya Prada and Nagma, contesting from UP, Malini is keeping her star trappings intact. Still, daughter Esha Deol, now married, is refusing to step into this “stinking town”, she confides. To her voters, she says: “You don’t have road travel here, only roller coaster rides. It makes me sick.”

Malini makes sure that she looks resplendent in a blue-white striped sari — the colour she sports in the Kent RO ad. That’s the main recall she gets here. Schoolkids in Bakalpur government school, address her as the “Kentwali”, not as a star. She tries to establish her movie credentials though. “I’ll set up a film institute here.” The proposal draws loud applause from the crowd, including from the priest of the Radha-Krishna temple and a popular local doctor Dinesh Upadhya. She wants to be the new “Gopi of Mathura,”  Malini tells them, a part she chose over her offers from Noida, Ghaziabad and Mumbai, made by BJP chief Rajnath Singh. “My dance recitals made Vrajbhumi famous, nationally and internationally. So, I’ve a special connect with this place,” she says. But she knows, it is not enough to do “Modi-sankirtan or Krishnalila” to win this Jat-dominated seat, where Civil Aviation Minister and RLD chief Ajit Singh’s son Jayant Chaudhury is pitted against her. So, Malini also plays the “Jatni bahu”, Dharm-Garam’s wife, demurely covering her head.

Young Jayant is no weak candidate. Malini, “the outsider”, has a tough fight before Mathura goes to polls. More so as Jayant is not just a son of a Jat, he has a clean image. He’s not afflicted his father’s reputation of being a “dal-badlu” (one who switches political camps too often). The youth connect with him better.

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