Dharmendra absence questioned as Hema's campaign picks up
Going by the hype and glamour, the BJP's Hema Malini looks a confident winner at the moment from this Lok Sabha constituency, but a closer analysis suggests it won't be a cakewalk for her.
However, the big question everyone is asking here is when husband Dharmendra will come. Sources close to Hema Malini said Saturday that a message had been received from Dharmendra and he should join his wife any time.
"But that any time is not coming. Looks like the sons of Dharmendra would not let him come here. They are not in communication, you know," said Ram Dhar, an activist campaigning for BSP candidate Yogendra Dwivedi.
Dharmendra will never come here, adds another activist Raghav, because he doesn't want to answer a question about his marriage and present relations with Hema Malini.
Film director Anil Sharma told media persons Saturday that Dharmendra was likely to come Monday. The reason given for the delay was that he was not well.
Meanwhile, Esha and Ahana, daughters of the "Dream Girl" have anchored here and are busy meeting people in remote areas.
Esha's husband Bharat Takhtani was seen in Baldev and Dauji areas Saturday interacting with locals and assuring them their problems would be taken care of by the BJP candidate after the elections.
The Bollywood actress who charmed one and all with hits like "Sholay", "Seeta Aur Geeta", "Meera", "Prem Nagar" and "Mehbooba" faces a tough challenge from Jayant Choudhary, the sitting MP from Rashtriya Lok Dal, who has the solid support of the Jats in the area.
The recent reservation for the Jats has given a fillip to his campaign and he has been assured of Muslim votes from the area. Supported by the Congress, Choudhary seems confident of sailing through.
The Jats of the area are firmly with Jayant. Last assembly election, he got a major chunk of votes from Mant and Gokul areas.
Aam Aadmi Party candidate Anuj Garg will wean away thousands of Vaish (bania) votes which would have otherwise gone to the BJP.
The Brahmins have their own candidate from the Bahujan Samaj Party, Yogesh Dwivedi and the Thakurs are supporting the Samajwadi Party candidate Chandan Singh who is a Thakur.
But local media persons say there is a groundswell in favour of Hema who because of her Vaishnavite credentials and frequent visits to Vrindavan is not considered an outsider.
"From Gokul to Goverdhan, there is only support for Hema Malini and with the (Narendra) Modi wave factor, she should record a thumping victory," says senior journalist Ashok Bansal.
In the final countdown to the April 24 polling, all the political parties have thrown in their all to mobilise the sulking voters of this twin holy city in their favour.
Mathura with Vrindavan and Goverdhan alongwith Gokul and Mahavan on the other side of Yamuna go to polls.
(Posted on 21-04-2014)