Hema fights BJP's ally turned foe in Mathura

Hema Malini
Mathura, Apr 11: Five years ago she came here seeking votes for Rashtriya Lok Dal candidate Jayant Chaudhary. But the sitting MP is now her main rival and tormentor, whom she accuses of non-performance.

It is a perfect role reversal for Bollywood's 'Dreamgirl' Hema Malini and the scene is set in Mathura, the 'Braj Bhoomi', a place she claims she has a spiritual connection with. The BJP and RLD were together in the last elections in an alliance, but the Ajit Singh-led RLD has now switched sides to join the Congress-led UPA.

The other contenders in the fray are BSP's Yogesh Divedi, Samajwadi Party's Chandan Singh and AAP's Kapil Mishra. The actress, who is fighting her maiden election on a BJP ticket, makes it a point to remind voters about her earlier role as a star BJP campaigner in the birth place of Krishna.

"'Brajwasiyon'(residents), I was here five years ago to seek votes for Jayantji and I must thank you that you had listened to me and helped him win. But his party has changed sides. He is not with BJP. "Now, I am fighting elections from BJP and you must vote for me," she says while addressing a modest crowd in Mat Tehsil, launching a veiled attack on the sitting MP's performance.

"I see the condition of roads. They are in bad shape. The man who won from here has never visited this place and no work has been done," she added. Hema Malini, who had served a full six-year term in Rajya Sabha as a nominated member and a year in a casual vacancy, carries her 66-years lightly on her shoulders. She is still a crowd-puller as her caravan moves in the dusty interiors of Mathura negotiating potholes and narrow roads. Her cavalcade stops at one point on her way to a road show. Asked what happened, someone says, "The road is too bumpy and she is not feeling well." 


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