Mathura: 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.
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. They know who and what!” 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 perfect lotus mudra. That is 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. Malini 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 Uttar Pradesh, 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.”