Has Mathura Pressed The Exit Button On Hema Malini?

Mathura: At a media interaction on Friday, actor-turned-BJP-leader from Mathura Hema Malini said she has a divine connection with the holy town.

She dismissed opposition’s criticism that she was an outsider, saying “what is the problem with me having a house in Mumbai? I have a house here also and I am a Virndavanwasi”.

Votes may differ. According to reports and the turnout at the Monday rally, Hema Malini might have a tough battle ahead to retain the seat from where she has been fielded once again. The opposition has made the campaign an ‘outsider vs insider’ issue, highlighting lack of development in the constituency.

There are already murmurs within the party that Mathura along with Agra parliamentary seats could go away from the BJP fold unless Prime Minister Narendra Modi decides to mount a high voltage campaign in this western UP belt.

Signs are obvious. The Monday rally was thinly attended despite UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in attendance. The party, as per some reports, is upset over Hema Malini being given the ticket once again despite her dwindling popularity.

Yogi’s statement at the rally, that Malini could have fought from anywhere in UP but she wished to contest from Mathura, also laid bare the point that BJP wanted to shift her to another seat. Yogi had not accompanied Malini when she filed her nomination but they were jointly at the rally.

By fielding a Brahmin face from here, Mahesh Pathak to divide BJPs’ upper caste vote base, Congress has made her winning prospects even more doubtful.

Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) has given a ticket to a local leader Kunwar Narendra Singh under the Mahagathbandhan in UP. While Hema Malini has been asserting the point that she visited her constituency 250 times in last five, the alliance has played the ‘insider vs outsider’ card well to counter her, said political observers.

“I really feel hurt when someone asks ‘apne kya kaam kiya?’ (what work did you do). The first two years were difficult as I could not communicate (with the people). But in the last two years I was able to get things done with the support of the Centre and the state government,” she said.

“Many projects have been sanctioned under Brij Teerth Vikas Parishad and I am working to revive the old heritage of Brij Mandal,” she said, adding that she needed another five years for that.

She also said this will be her last election.

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