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In an unexpected turn of events, film director and producer Ram Gopal Varma has declared that he would contest the Presidential elections against the UPA nominee Pranab Mukherjee. The veteran director told The Unreal Times that he will not let Mr Mukherjee win unopposed.
“I might lose, but will still contest the Presidential poll. Pranab da is a friend, but I oppose his candidature. He hasn’t revealed the names of black money holders, which was my only chance to find out who could finance my films, given that no one else is ready to,” said the Bollywood director.
Asked if it was worth risking losing face in the elections, given that the odds are stacked against him, the veteran director waved away the suggestion, “Oh, I can totally take a setback. My movies Naach, Phoonk, Agyaat have all taught me this lesson. In fact, I have become so immune after RGV ki Aag that it would be just another Department to me, if I lose.”
RGV also expressed confidence that at least the film fraternity will stand by him regardless of party affiliations. “I have done favours to most film personalities who are now politicians. For instance, I paid Hema ji a touching tribute by casting Nisha Kothari as Basanti in RGV ki Aag. I cast Rekha ji in Bhoot, and well, who does not know my association with Amit ji? So no question of Jaya ji opposing me either!” he exclaimed. RGV also promised BJP leader Sushma Swaraj an item number in his next movie should her party back him.
Meanwhile, reactions to this development from within political circles have been mixed.
Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh has indicated that he may extend his support to RGV in return for the lead role for his son, Akhilesh, in RGV’s next movie, with Abhishek Bachchan as the supporting actor. Mamata Banerjee, however, did not share Mulayam’s enthusiasm, “Ouee have made it clear ouee are going to support Kalam even if he doesh not contesht the elekshons,” said a defiant Didi.
Congress leader Digvijay Singh had words of encouragement for the director. “I can see in him the same courage I saw in Rahul ji before he led the Congress party to a magnificent show in the UP elections,” said the AICC general secretary. “Although he should have taken the blessings of Soniaji before contesting,” he quickly added.
PA Sangma, on the other hand, has expressed fears that the bipolar contest between him and Pranab da, that he was quite confident of winning, has now turned into a triangular contest, thereby diminishing his chances. “People might regard him more adivasi than me because of his movies ‘Jungle’ and the jungli choreography in his item numbers. It is going to be a close contest,” said the worried leader.
When a fan asked RGV on Twitter on what inspired him to throw his hat in into the Presidential elections, RGV tweeted, “Only thng u cn evr learn frm a mistake is tht u dint realize it ws a mistake until u did it nd hence u will continue 2 make mistakes forevr.”