scorecardThe fascinating story of a Bollywood couple in rival parties seeking votes for each other
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The fascinating story of a Bollywood couple in rival parties seeking votes for each other

The fascinating story of a Bollywood couple in rival parties seeking votes for each other
PoliticsPolitics2 min read
  • Actors of an erstwhile era, Shatrugan Sinha and Poonam Sinha, are fighting for rival parties.
  • However, the husband and wife duo campaign for each other in respective constituencies.
  • This is not the first time in India that a married couple has shared a roof but not the same political affiliation.
The Indian Parliament is full of colour. Shatrughan Sinha and Poonam Sinha are Bollywood stars of a bygone era, with over 300 films to their credit according to IMDB. In the ongoing Parliamentary elections, they represent two rival parties, the Indian National Congress and the Samajwadi Party (SP) respectively.

The two parties are fighting each other in one of the country's most crucial states, Uttar Pradesh. Both parties tried to stitch a coalition to beat the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi but the plans have not come to fruition yet.

But that hasn't stopped the actors-turned-politicians from campaigning for each other. Congress leader Shatrughan Sinha had campaigned for his wife in Lucknow. His wife, Poonam, is going against a local heavyweight, and a national BJP stalwart past his prime, Rajnath Singh, who is also the serving union minister for Home Affairs. Lucknow is the capital of the country's most populous state, UP, and voting is underway.

Meanwhile, Pramod Krishnam standing from Lucknow for the Congress, Shatrugan's party, is fuming at his colleague performing, what the latter called, 'the husband's duty'.

Poonam Sinha joined the SP, which is fighting in alliance with Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party, on April 16. This was much after the coalition's talks with Congress, to outnumber the BJP in Uttar Pradesh, failed. However, that did not stop her from joining the SP, while her 72-year old husband had already left the BJP to join the Congress party on April 10.

Confused much? The protagonists are not.

Shatrughan Sinha, the Parliamentarian from Patna Sahib constituency in Bihar for the last ten years, left the BJP after the party decided to dump and nominate union minister for law and information technology, Ravi Shankar Prasad, from the seat. So he broke up from the party, which he was part of for 27 years, and joined the Congress at the behest of the Rashtriya Janata Dal, founded by Laloo Prasad Yadav, which is in alliance with Congress in another state, Bihar.

Now, read the story again a few times. A whiteboard and a marker may come in handy in explaining the musical chairs that the Indian election can be, at times.

Most often than not, both parties and candidates put the ability to win a seat ahead of ideology and, even, conflict of interest.

This is not the first time that a husband and wife have shared the same roof but not the same political affiliation. Jivatram Bhagwandas Kripalani was a long-time follower of Mahatma Gandhi, a Congress party member and a educationist in his own right. However, he left the party in 1950 and turned into one of its harshest critic of the party ever since.

Meanwhile, his wife Sucheta Kripalani remained in the party served as Union minister in various portfolios, and became the first lady chief minister of Uttar Pradesh in 1963.

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