Bollywood to Bundelkhand: Reel couple in poll fray

Raja Bundela`s journey for a separate Bundelkhand state has made him realise that his odds of winning UP polls are stacked against him.

Jhansi: From tinsel town to the rugged
terrains of Jhansi, actor Raja Bundela`s journey for a
separate Bundelkhand state has made him realise that his odds
of winning the Uttar Pradesh polls are stacked against him yet
he his hopeful of clicking with the masses.

Bundela, who is the Bundelkhand Congress president, waits
on the roadside to shake hands with school children and youth
participating in a voter awareness rally, with his actress
wife Sushmita Mukherjee vehemently shouting "Jai Jai

Apparently realising that odds of his winning are stacked
against him as he is pitted against big parties, Bundela said
winning is not the only criteria.

"I will not be compromising with my principles. The
Bubdelkhand Congress is the only political party fighting for
the region (Bundelkhand). It will catch up with masses," he

"After seeing the travails of the commoners in this real
life, he could not actually go back to the reel life," said
his wife Mukherjee, who played the role of Kitty in Pankaj
Kapoor`s famous detective serial Karamchand Jasoos.

Its indeed a transition for her, as she moves among the
masses covering her head with pallu and greeting them in their
party office with "bhale padharo ji".

"I do not have any problem. After all it is my sasural
(in-laws` house) and I learnt Bundeli in short time," she

Mukherjee, who is dearly called the `bahu of Bundelkhand`
would soon feature in two Hollywood movies Roary Silence and

Mukherjee has acted in over a two dozen films including
Golmaal, Khoya Khoya Chand and Rudali and an equal number of
television serials including classic of the ninetees `Kab Tak

"She will continue to act in films as she is now the sole
bread winner of the family after I joined full time politics,"
Bundela said.

After passing out from NSD in 1978 and later from FIIT in
Pune, Bundela acted in Naseeruddin Shah starrer film

His films included Amitabh Bachchan starrer Main Azad
Hoon and Sunny Deol`s Bhagat Singh.

It was his sudden visit to attend a seminar on small
states in 1995 when the actor changed his mind and became
a political activist.

He started with Bundelkhand Mukti Morcha in 1995, before
joining Congress in 2004, a decision that he regrets. He had
also contested last Lok Sabha election on a Congress ticket.

He later formed the Bundelkhand Congress, which has
fielded 42 candidates in these elections.

Bundela`s friends from the film fraternity have chipped
in to help him while actor Om Puri, Satish Kaushik and singer
Altaf Raza have already campaigned for him.

"The administration did not allow permission to my other
film friends like Nana Patekar and Salman Khan to come for
campaigning," Bundela alleged.

Eighteen years is a long time but politics is all about
patience, the cine actor tells unveiling his future plans for
civic bodies elections and Madhya Pradesh Assembly elections.

Brahmins, Sahus Vaishyas, Kurmis-Kushwahas (OBCs) and
Muslims constitute large chunk of votes in Jhansi Assembly
seat, which was won in the 2009 assembly by-poll by BSP`s
Kailash Sahu.

The seat was won by Congress leader Pradip Jain Aditya in
2007 assembly elections, who resigned from it during 2009 Lok
Sabha elections and became and MP and then Union Minister.

Congress has fielded Brajendra Vyas alias Damdam Maharaj
from here while BJP`s candidate is Ravi Verma and SP`s is
Arfan Siddiqui.

As the electioneering comes to an end today, political
parties have tried all tricks to woo voters.


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