Hema Malini eyes Firozabad for Lok Sabha debut

Lucknow, May 2 (IANS) Cine star and senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Hema Malini has expressed a wish to contest the 2014 Lok Sabha (LS) polls from Firozabad, an important seat in Uttar Pradesh.

She said Wednesday, while speaking at Mathura, that if the BJP agrees to field her, she would prefer the bangle city over any other place in the country.

Firozabad is currently held by film star-turned-politician Raj Babbar, who trounced Dimple Yadav, wife of UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, on a Congress ticket.

While Babbar is likely to be repeated by Congress from this seat, the Samajwadi Party (SP) has already declared Akshay Yadav, son of the Samajwadi Party (SP) general secretary Ram Gopal Yadav, as its candidate.

If Hema Malini contests from Firozabad, BJP strategists feel the contest would become an interesting one and the ‘dream girl’ could spring some surprise on her opponents.

Moreover, her candidature could also affect some LS seats around the area, including neighbouring Agra, Mainpuri and Etawah, the pocket borough of SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav.

But while the next LS polls could see the entry of glamour in the form of Hema Malini, another film star-turned-politician Jaya Prada is set to exit Uttar Pradesh.

After her recent meeting with Congress president Sonia Gandhi, it is widely believed that Jaya Prada, currently SP MP from Rampur, could be headed homeward for Andhra Pradesh, where she is likely to contest the LS polls from Rajamundri on a Congress ticket.

Once considered an important member of the ruling SP in UP owing to her proximity to party general secretary Amar Singh, Jaya Prada was expelled, along with Singh, from that party.

Uttar Pradesh has always fascinated film stars with a penchant for politics. Mega star Amitabh Bachchan also contested LS polls from the state on a Congress ticket in 1984; his wife Jaya Bachchan is a Rajya Sabha member from UP.

Bollywood comedian Raju Srivastava is the SP candidate from Kanpur this time, and more film stars are likely to be in the fray, party leaders suggest.

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