Hema Malini wins RS by-poll from Karnataka

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Hema Malini
Bangalore, Mar 3: Living up to expectations, "Dream Girl" Hema Malini Thursday, Mar 3 won the Rajya Sabha by-poll from Karnataka and said she will do whatever she is supposed to do as a member of the Upper House.

Of the 205 votes polled, Hema Malini representing the BJP, secured 106 votes while litterateur K Marulasiddappa, who contested as an Independent backed by Congress and JDS, secured 94 votes.

The total votes polled were 205 of which five were declared invalid. "It is an expected victory," BJP leader C T Ravi told reporters.

Her entry into the poll scene had sparked a ''Kannadiga-non-Kannadiga'' debate with a group of Kannada litterateurs backing Marulasiddappa, a former chairman of the Karnataka Nataka Academy, appealing to the MLAs to vote for him cutting across party line.

But the ''vote-for-Kannadiga-self-pride'' campaign lost steam soon.

Her candidature also came as a surprise to few members of the state party unit who had been pushing the case of former Union minister V Dhananjaya Kumar. However, the issue was soon sorted by the state leadership.

After her win, Hema Malini took a swipe at her critics saying she found "very funny" their perception of her being an "outsider".

Talking to reporters, she said, "... Some people feel I should not come. I find it very funny," she said stressing that as an artiste she belonged to everybody.

She promised to visit Karnataka regularly and take up the cause of women, children, farmers and poor sections in the Upper House.

It''s also important for me to strengthen the party, she said and thanked the party for fielding her.

"Whatever I am supposed to do (as Rajya Sabha member), I will do".

PTI

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