The Telegraph
Sunday , April 6 , 2014
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Lotus on palm, hubby on wrist

- Women get namo design, party symbol for poonam

Patna, April 5: Poonam Sinha today applied mehndi on her palms not for her husband, sitting Patna Sahib MP Shatrughan Sinha, but for the BJP.

Dressed in a dark green sari, Poonam — onlookers were heard referring to her as Sonakshi Sinha’s mother — reached Maurya Lok Complex in the city around 5pm. On her wrists were broad red bangles bearing her husband’s name.

The state unit of the BJP had organised a programme in which the party workers applied mehndi on their hands. Before Poonam arrived at the venue, women party workers and Nitin Navin, the BJP MLA from Patna west, made sure there was a buzz for her.

Navin had earlier told The Telegraph: “It is a simple programme in which the women, including Poonamji, would put mehndi on their palms with the BJP’s symbol (lotus). We want more and more people to be connected with the party through these programmes, leading to the BJP scoring high in the elections.”

In the Indian tradition, women — married or not — mostly apply mehndi on their palms and arms. It is more frequent during weddings where it is said that darker the colour of the mehndi, the better the bride’s bond with her husband.

Poonam, who has been with her star husband constantly since he hit the roads of his constituency, also made sure her presence was felt once she reached the venue to get mehndi designs.

She warmly greeted everyone with a smile on her faces. “How are you all? Kaisi hai? (How are you?),” she asked everyone.

The women, in a mood to garner support for the party, were more than happy to have Poonam around them.

One of the workers said: “We are getting the lotus designed on our palms, along with ‘NaMo’. Narendra Modi would surely become the Prime Minister of the country and we all are working hard to ensure that.”

Another worker next to her was even found explaining to a female beggar to vote for the party. It is not known if the beggar had a voter identification card or other identification proofs.

As Poonam closely watched the women getting mehndi designs on their palms, she quipped: “Mere haath me bhi bana dijiye. Magar zyaada mat. Bas thoda sa (Please apply it on my hands too. Not much though, just a little).”

Manoj who runs a stall at Maurya Lok Complex and applies mehndi on women’s hands got to work on Poonam’s palm. Poonam kept watch too, she wanted the lotus drawn neatly. She did not get ‘NaMo’ designed though.

“In the Indian tradition, mehndi is mostly applied by married women. It is said that it expresses the bond of a couple. As for why I am getting the lotus design, my husband belongs to the BJP, he belongs to NaMo. So, I have applied the party’s symbol on my palms. And mind you, yeh rang bahut gehra hai (This colour is very deep),” she said as she walked towards her SUV.