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Govinda's day out
Vijay Singh in Mumbai |
March 28, 2004 00:14 IST
Last Updated: March 28, 2004 00:14 IST
A scene straight out of a Bollywood flick
It was a scene straight out of a Bollywood flick when Govinda and Ram Naik came face to face in Virar on Friday.
The actor, who is contesting the Mumbai North parliamentary constituency on a Congress ticket, had travelled to his hometown by a local train.
He arrived at Veer Sawarkar Marg to visit a Ganesh temple just as his Bharatiya Janata Party rival Naik's 'Ram Rath' also reached there.
The actor went into the temple first and was there for five minutes.
During those five minutes Naik looked very nervous. There were just around 100 supporters with him, compared to the more than one thousand with Govinda.
Govinda came out of the temple and when he saw that Naik was standing in his 'Ram Rath' in front of him, he went to have a word with the BJP candidate.
The two then shook hands as Naik's supporters shouted pro-BJP slogans.
After greeting him, Govinda went back to his jeep and cleared Naik's path.
Govinda pacifies Congress workers
When Govinda arrived in Virar, his old friend and sitting legislator Hitendra Thakur gave him a huge welcome.
Virar and its adjusting areas are considered a stronghold of Thakur, an independent legislator who supported Naik in the last election.
While in Virar, the actor was constantly in the company of Thakur and his supporters.
When he visited Congress leader Tara Bai Vartak's house to address a small gathering of local Congress workers along with Thakur and Minister of State for Home Kripa Shankar Singh, he had to face many tough questions.
He was asked why he was with Thakur, and not Congress workers.
He replied: "If my family members think I should only be with them, how can I become a member of your family? And if we think we will not accept anyone else in our family, how can we achieve our targets? We have to accept everyone who agrees with our ideology and offers help."
Thakur then asked the gathering: "I am supporting your candidate, but do you promise to support me in the assembly election?"
The Congress workers avoided giving a direct answer.
When the meeting got over and Govinda hit the road again, he was surrounded by Thakur's supporters and his fans. The Congress workers did not join him.
'Youngster will vote for Govinda'
When Govinda arrived at Thakur's office, many of his young fans surrounded him.
One of them was 23-year-old Manoj Ray. A student of KC college, he held a banner saying, 'Virar Ka Chhokra Delhi mein.'
Manoj said he had come to meet the actor.
"Govinda will definitely win the election," he said. "He is a Virar boy. So once elected he will defiantly work for Virar first... Virar is his family."
Businessman Pappu Sekh, 25, said, "Govinda is a well-known film star. He is very spontaneous and down to earth. Above all he is Virar ka Chhokra. These qualities will get him votes. Many young voters will come out to vote because of Govinda only."
Nilesh Patil, 24, who sells fruits, said. "He surely is a better option for us. Although Ram Naik did good work, Govinda is a local and aware of our problems. So he can do a better work for us."
'Why are they behaving like my fans!'
Govinda had a meeting with Congress office-bearers on the first floor of Shri Gopal hall in Malad (west) at 1800 IST.
But he was in Virar till 1700 IST and so it was not possible for him to reach Malad on time. The meeting was then put off for two hours.
By that time news spread rapidly in nearby areas that Govinda was going to come. People started to gather at the venue and many were seen hanging from windows for a better angle.
As soon as Govinda's car arrived, a huge crowed converged on it. The situation was so bad that the actor could not even open the door. Some Congress workers then tried to push the crowd aside.
An irritated Govinda then asked his friend and Congressman Shashi Prabhu: "Shashi, why are Congressmen behaving like my fans! How many times do I have to tell them to behave with me like Congress workers?"
Prabhu told him that most of the people there were not party workers, but fans.
After a lot of pushing and pulling Prabhu managed to make way for Govinda.
Drop your weapons, now!
The Juhu police station has asked Govinda to deposit his licensed weapons.
This is a standard procedure. The police sends notices to all citizens asking them to deposit their personal firearms during the election period.
Govinda has two weapons -- one in his name and one in the name of one of his family members.