Outrage against Hema, yet votes for Modi, Yogi: Mathura voters

Venturing into the heart of Mathura, a constituency in western Uttar Pradesh situated approximately 163 kilometres from the national capital, The New Indian discovered a region steeped in religious significance as the birthplace of Lord Krishna. The Lok Sabha constituency went to polls on April 26.

| Updated: 30 April, 2024 7:59 pm IST
The New Indian's correspondent Subhadra Srivastava talks to voters as they exercise their franchise on April 26

MATHURA: On the day of voting in Mathura, voters harboured resentment towards Bollywood superstar Hema Malini while simultaneously displaying unwavering support for BJP stalwarts Modi and Yogi.

Deepak Gautam, a resident, highlighted the gap in Malini’s efforts, stating, “Hema Malini ji has been our MP for two terms, but she has failed to address the issue of Yamuna pollution, despite significant funds allocated over the years.”

Venturing into the heart of Mathura, a constituency in western Uttar Pradesh situated approximately 163 kilometres from the national capital, The New Indian discovered a region steeped in religious significance as the birthplace of Lord Krishna. The Lok Sabha constituency went to polls on April 26.

With Hinduism prevailing as the dominant faith, accounting for about 91% of the population, Mathura holds immense importance for Hindus nationwide. However, amid the Modi wave sweeping through the region, there was palpable discontent among the populace regarding the perceived lack of progress in Hema Malini’s stewardship of her constituency, despite her iconic status as Bollywood’s “dream girl.”

 

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Concerns over Malini’s absenteeism from Mathura were palpable among voters, with accusations of her preoccupation with a lavish lifestyle and frequent trips abroad. The 75-year-old actor, with her enduring fame as ‘Basanti’ from the iconic film “Sholay,” Malini’s absence had secured victory over Jayant Chaudhary of RLD in 2014 by over three lakh votes.

Susheel Gautam, who voted alongside his brother, stated, “Since the BJP came to power, many politicians have seen a 500% increase in their properties. They exploit the public, indulging in corruption to fill their pockets, leaving the common people struggling to afford even a meal. The BJP’s Agniveer scheme brought people from our village into the army, but due to the four-year Agniveer program, no one is ready to join the army now. Corruption has spread widely.”

Malini has represented Mathura twice, securing victory in the 2019 elections as well. Defeating RLD candidate Kunwar Narendra Singh by a substantial margin of 2,93,471 votes, she retained her seat. The Mathura Lok Sabha constituency, situated at the heart of Uttar Pradesh, is currently witnessing a three-way contest between the BJP, Congress, and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).

Voters express dissatisfaction with Hema Malini’s work in Mathura but love for Yogi-Modi

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Many residents, despite their strong support for Modi, express dissatisfaction with their “missing MP,” noting her absence from the constituency.

BJP leader Pandit Kamal Kant who switched allegiance from BSP to BJP, just two days before the day of polling, remarked on the prevailing one-sided atmosphere in Uttar Pradesh. He said, “In Mathura, votes are cast not for Hema Malini but in the name of Modi and Yogi. Despite dissatisfaction with Hema Ji, people are still voting for Modi’s victory, regardless of who becomes the MP.”

Chulbul Aggarwal, a 40-year-old woman casting her vote, remarked, “The greatest thing to happen after Modi came to power is the increased safety for our daughters and sisters, and that’s why we are voting for Modiji.”

Veeneeta Chaturvedi, an aspiring teacher with a teaching degree, expressed, “I have been in Mathura for 25-26 years now, and I am very happy with the improvements in electricity and water supply. Hema ji has indeed worked, and the Yogi government has done a lot.”

Chulbul’s sister-in-law, Vineeta Aggarwal, added, “Our hearts are set on Modi-Yogi. While Hema Malini is also working, for me, it’s Yogi and Modi ji.”

 

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