The Telegraph
Sunday , March 2 , 2014
CIMA Gallary

Rakhi steals show on VK’s date with BJP

- Crowd to cheer ex-army chief jostles to click item girl
VK Singh at the BJP office after he joined the party. Picture by Yasir Iqbal

New Delhi, March 1: A former general joined the BJP today at the party office here, which was left with broken tables and stools and fallen chairs as the crowd mobilised to cheer V.K. Singh scrambled to capture Rakhi Sawant on their cellphone cameras.

The Bollywood item girl had “strolled” into the BJP headquarters “for tea” a little before V.K. Singh arrived and promptly donned a saffron bandanna. Party president Rajnath Singh said: “I became emotional when Rakhi Sawant touched my feet and said she came all the way here to tie rakhis on ex-servicemen.”

V.K. Singh, who in September 2013 had shared the dais with Narendra Modi at a rally for ex-soldiers in Haryana, declared that the BJP was the “only nationalist” party.

“For all the soldiers who stand in vigil on our borders, day and night, so that the rest of us live and sleep in peace, the BJP is the only nationalist party. Its policies and decisions take into account the sacrifices that servicemen have made. We must make the party stronger,” he stressed.

Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s slogan — an improvisation of Lal Bahadur Shastri’s — of “Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan, Jai Vigyan” always resonated in his ears, the former general said.

Rakhi, who claimed she had come over “for tea”, announced that the BJP was “home”. “It is my home. I am the BJP’s daughter. I want the country’s people to come out on the streets and vote for Modi,” she said.

But the starlet, who has never fought shy of controversy, turned unusually coy when asked if she was in the queue of BJP aspirants. “That’s for the leadership to decide,” she said.

When the crowd vying to take pictures of Rakhi ended up damaging furniture in the hall where the BJP holds its meetings with the media, she was whisked into a room inside the headquarters where access to her was blocked.

Rajnath turned his attention on the INS Sindhuratna tragedy, saying: “My head hangs in shame. The batteries that were used (in the submarine) were past their expiry date. It looks like our security infrastructure is riddled with holes and leakages.

“The BJP government will have a person strong of heart and mind as its PM, so strong that no other country would dare to provoke us.”

While the BJP has not revealed what its plans for the former general are, his cheerleaders raised a telling slogan: “Who should be India’s next defence minister? General V.K. Singh, who else?”

A contingent of his supporters from Rajasthan declared he would contest the Lok Sabha polls from Jhunjhunu, arguing that although he hails from Haryana, he went to school in Pilani.