BJP to woo Katrina
Enthused by her ‘half-Indian’ comment on Rahul Gandhi, the saffron party wants her to campaign for them in the BMC and Uttar Pradesh elections
The old chestnut of the dynasty’s foreign origin is back in the floodlights.
The BJP has got a foot in edgewise into the uproar surrounding actor Katrina Kaif’s statement last week calling Congress scion Rahul Gandhi “half-Indian, half-Italian”.
Even as a piqued Congress scorned the actor “to what level do you want to bring down the political discourse in the country”, one of its spokespersons said the saffron party has hailed her as their pin-up girl for the Uttar Pradesh and the BMC elections next year. It wants her to campaign for it.
Raj K Purohit, the city chief of BJP, said that the party would try its best to get Kat for drumming up support in the campaign preceding the impending elections. “We welcome her and will try to get her to be part of our rallies and meetings.
What she said is not wrong. Instead, she is the first person to say this in public. We fully support her, ” said Purohit.
Although the willowy actor has apologised for her remarks, the BJP has found enough ammunition in her words to let loose in the pre-election canvassing.
And if the saffron party has its way, the actor might get into the skin of her character in Rajneeti for real. Poor GK of samosa..
Members of the saffron party also believe that Kat has given voice to the sentiment of millions of Indians about the Congress general secretary’s origin. “Whatever Katrina said was not incorrect.
She has just echoed the sentiments of crores of Hindustanis. Also, she never retracted her statement. What she said was that if her statement has hurt anyone, she was sorry, ” said Surya Pratap Shahi, president, BJP Uttar Pradesh unit.
Shahi illustrated how Katrina’s statement rings true. “Rahul doesn’t even know what a samosa is. Which Indian wouldn’t know that? How can such a person be the face of the nation?”
Reportedly, the BJP has firmly resolved to encash on the actor’s mass appeal.
If Katrina does decide to play ball with the party, it can expect to have an upper hand in the electioneering, at leastin UP. For, in the star-smitten plains, the bigger the actor, the bigger the crowd it draws.
To wit, in 2009, when Jaya Prada had contested for the Rajya Sabha elections on a Samajwadi Party ticket from Rampur, she managed to win against BJPs’s Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi.
In the event the cine star refuses to plunge into political gamesmanship, the party wields a plan B. “We will use her statement and her pictures which will also make an impact, ” said a party insider.
But Katrina wants to stay off the list of controversy-churning stars. A spokesperson for Katrina said, “She doesn’t want to comment on anything related to this.”
BJP’s star power
Navjot Singh Sidhu
So? I am very proud of what I am and I just don’t understand the confusion as if I’m trying to hide the fact that my mother’s a British. Why would I?”
The BJP has also been at the receiving end of such politically damaging statements, and from within its ranks. In 2004, soap star and BJP leader Smriti Irani had said that Gujarat CM Narendra Modi should resign on account of the Godhra riots.
As big a blunder as the statement proved for her, party chief Nitin Gadkari and other senior leaders rushed to the set Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, and asked Irani to retract her statement and apologise unconditionally. The actress complied.