With Hema Here, Could Dharam Be Far Behind

New Delhi, March 24 | Updated: Mar 25 2004, 05:30am hrs
Film star Dharmendra, known for his macho image, makes little distinction between film dialogues and political speeches. It became evident on the occasion of his joining the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) here on Wednesday.

With him joining BJP a few days after his wife Hema Malini did so, there are strong indications of his contesting the Jat-dominated Bikaner seat in Rajasthan in the coming Lok Sabha elections.

Dharmendra joined BJP in the presence of party president M Venkaiah Naidu, Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje, party general secretary Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Union law & commerce minister Arun Jaitley.

In the best traditions of Bollywood melodrama, Dharmendra called himself a son of Bharat Maa who wants to do something for the country. True to his He-man image, he said, I am like a lion, who would fight evil. Today a lion is talking.

He waxed eloquent about the great leadership of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee which is responsible for the current thaw. Today, our players are playing in Lahore as if it were Ludhiana. I hope the relations will improve further so that acrimony between the two nations goes away.

Earlier, Mr Naidu justified the influx of film stars into the party by saying that it reflected a new thinking in the country. It is not only from cinema but from other professions too people are joining our party. This is because of they want to do something for the countrys progress under Vajpayeejis leadership.

In fact, there was also a perceptible change in the minds of Muslims and Christians who are supporting the Prime Minister, said Mr Naidu.

The BJP president said that the Congress had been forced to talk about development. But development is the strong point of the government.

The elections are being fought on the issue of development. We are on a very strong wicket. We will win the match, Mr Naidu said.