Biggies seek divine intervention before entering poll arena

Invoking the gods ahead of the political battle, Mathura MP and BJP candidate Hema Malini visited the Banke Bihari temple in Vrindavan and UPCC president Raj Babbar paid obeisance at Mankameshwar temple here before filing nominations on Monday.

Hema, who is seeking re-election, was accompanied by UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath.

Babbar is Congress candidate from Fatehpur Sikri. Draped in a traditional ‘dhoti’, Babbar performed all rituals at this much revered Shiva temple. Later, he reached the Collectorate to file his nomination at an auspicious time.

Later, addressing a public meeting, Yogi Adityanath assailed opposition parties for failing to live up to the expectation of the common man and said that with Narendra Modi at the helm, it was possible for the BJP to ensure all round growth of the nation and ensure security.

Heaping praise on Hema Malini, Yogi said unlike other celebrities, she came to her constituency more than 250 times during her five-year term and did her best to ensure development.

“She raised the issue of Yamuna in Parliament and brought proposals for development of Mathura and Vrindavan, making sure they were followed up,” he said.

Citing steps taken for Mathura, Yogi reminded that the religious city was upgraded from Nagar Palika to Nagar Nigam and had a mayor.

Referring to the Jawahar Bagh episode, the chief minister blamed the previous Samajwadi Party government for providing free power connection to squatters in the government-owned park.

He said earlier UP was seen as a riot-wracked state with law and order at nadir and traders had to pay ‘goonda tax’. But now criminals had either been eliminated or jailed.

He also cited loan waiver, closure of illegal slaughter houses and anti-Romeo squads to check women’s harassment as his government’s achievements.

Lauding Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Kashmir policy, he said during the Congress regime no action was taken against terrorists but now under Modi, surgical strikes were undertaken, security cover of separatist leaders was removed and stone pelting had ended in the Valley.

Meanwhile, with only a day remaining for filing papers there was a flood of nominations for Agra, Fatehpur Sikri, Mathura, Aligarh and Hathras in Braj region. Apart from Raj Babbar and Hema Malini,

SP-BSP alliance candidate from Agra reserved seat Manoj Soni also filed his papers on Monday.

Others who filed their nominations included BJP candidate and minister in state cabinet, SP Singh Baghel, Congress candidate Preeta Harit and independent candidate Dr Chandra Pal Singh (all for for Agra reserved seat).

The surprise candidate for SP-BSP alliance from Fatehpur Sikri, Rajveer Singh too filed nomination.

In Aligarh, the SP-BSP alliance candidate Ajit Baliyan and sitting MP and BJP candidate Satish Gautam filed nominations apart from Congress candidate Chaudhary Bijendra Singh.

First Published:
Mar 26, 2019 14:11 IST

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