|Rakhi Sawant at a news conference in Mumbai on Wednesday; ‘Desi Spiderman’ Gaurav Sharma performs a stunt. (PTI)
Mumbai, March 26: Voters in Mumbai have got a new choice — all they have to do is keep their eyes trained on skyscrapers.
“Desi Spiderman” Gaurav Sharma, known for stunts like rappelling down high-rises, joined the fray yesterday from Mumbai South as an Independent. The seat is now held by Union minister and two-time Congress MP Milind Deora.
Not that “Spidey” is the sole talk of the town. “Item girl” Rakhi Sawant today announced her candidature from Mumbai North West as an Independent. “People have been mobbing me and asking me why I am not fighting elections…” Rakhi said, asked why she had decided to enter politics. “So I said why not?”
Dressed in green and a matching Nehru jacket, Rakhi said she would quit Bollywood to “serve people”. “I don’t care what people think of me…. I have always fought for people’s rights, and I will continue to fight for them,” she said.
Rakhi, who would file her nomination on March 29, will contest against sitting Congress MP Gurudas Kamat, Shiv Sena leader Gajanan Kirtikar, the Aam Aadmi Party’s Mumbai convener Mayank Gandhi and actor-director Mahesh Manjrekar who has been fielded by Raj Thackeray’s MNS.
However, Rakhi’s principal opponent is likely to be Samajwadi Party candidate Kamaal R. Khan. Known as KRK on Twitter, Khan is the quirky actor-producer who made a film titled Deshdrohi when Raj’s violent campaign against north Indian migrants was at its peak.
Khan, along with Samajwadi leader Abu Asim Azmi’s son Farhan Azmi, will be among the party’s 22 candidates in Maharashtra.
Khan poked fun at Rakhi. “BJP kaa namak itna kamzor hain ki Rakhi Sawant ne bhi one week main namak haraami Kardi (the loyalty factor in the BJP is so weak that even Rakhi Sawant has turned disloyal),” he tweeted, alluding to Rakhi’s Delhi visit earlier this month.
Walking into the BJP office a short while after former army chief Gen. V.K. Singh formally joined the party on March 1, Rakhi had told reporters: “I am a daughter of the BJP and it is like my home. I want people to support (Narendra) Modi, and I am sure he is going to be the next PM.”
However, with no response from the BJP, Rakhi today said she would launch her own party with a green chilli as its symbol. “The BJP had offered me a ticket from Serampore in Bengal. But I did not accept it as I am a Mumbaikar…. I don’t know the local language of that area. So why should I contest from there?” she said, adding that she would soon start a door-to-door campaign in her constituency.
Make that wall-to-wall in Sharma’s constituency. A trained climber, the 32-year-old has grabbed attention by rappelling up and down skyscrapers in Mumbai and Pune. He recently scaled a 45-storey building in south Mumbai in just 19 minutes.
Apart from Deora, the Union minister of state for shipping, Sharma’s opponents include the Sena’s Arvind Sawant, the AAP’s Meera Sanyal and MLA Bala Nandgaonkar of the MNS.
“All politicians are self-serving… I genuinely want to serve the people,” Sharma told a media conference yesterday.
He appeared dressed for the battle — in Spiderman tights and mask.