Biwi Ho To Aisi
Shweta Bhatt & Jagruti Pandya. Will the 2 homemakers contesting Guj elections manage to put Modi on the backfoot?
Shweta Bhatt is really a shining example of the perfect politician’s wife. It’s always nice to see supportive wives helping their husband’s campaign. She’s not a politico’s wife. And it’s not her husband who’s campaigning. It’s she who’s going up against Modi.
But her husband’s Sanjiv Bhatt, right? Modi’s one time bête noire. Yes, the very same. He’s been a thorn in Modi’s side ever since he filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court against Modi for his alleged role in the 2002 Gujarat riots.
Aha, so his wife is a politician who’s decided to grab the Loh Purush by his… Yes yes, we all know how imperative it is for anyone running for election to have any political experience. So, following in the footsteps of Rajmata of Gwalior, Rabri Devi and other stalwarts, Shweta Bhatt – who’s been a self-proclaimed homemaker till now – has decided to contest against Modi. And the Congress has given her a ticket to do so. Because if anyone has faith in people with no political experience joining politics, it’s the Congress. A perfect fit.
Given that she doesn’t get a chance to speak since her husband is always walking around with her and answering questions on her behalf, what’s her political plank? Well, she’s been reported to have said that she is fighting to protest her husband and family’s harassment and that “there is no freedom of speech in Gujarat, I am fighting for that” and is also focusing on the lack of development in Maninagar, Modi’s constituency. She’s also been quoted as saying that she believes in righteousness. Basically, covered all bases.
So what’s the deal with Sanjiv Bhatt’s love for pretending she’s his marionette? Well, he’s obviously and rightfully miffed at being arrested and then suspended by the Modi government. His house got raided twice. His parents and in-laws’ houses got raided. He’s bound to be angry. He had said earlier that he’d enter politics if need be to combat Modi. So instead of stepping into the political fray himself, he’s made wifey do so.
How cool, so she’s already appointed her husband as her spokesperson! Don’t be silly, he’s just being the supportive and very vociferous husband, who delivers all her key messages for her and doesn’t let her get a word in edge-wise.
But why did Congress decide to back his novice wife, even if she is “far more intelligent” than Bhatt, according to him? Well, he claims…
You mean, “she” claims. No, get with the programme. All key messages are delivered by Sanjiv Bhatt, while she sits obediently and silently next to him.
So why is she not running as an Independent candidate? According to Sanjiv Bhatt, “Keshubhai was very keen, but I wanted her to contest as an Independent because of these allegations (that Bhatt was acting at the behest of the Congress). But the Congress is an old party and they might have [felt] if they didn’t field a candidate against Modi, it would raise questions that they had given up without a fight. According to Shweta, the Congress was best suited.”
By that logic, if all Congress needed was a warm body, anyone could have contested as a Congress candidate. Such a naysayer. Not incorrect, but a naysayer. But don’t go thinking that Shweta Bhatt is the only devoted wife who’s entered the political fray.
Oh there’s another one. Yes, but as different from the other one as possible. This is the murdered Gujarat Home Minister, Haren Pandya’s wife – Jagruti Pandya.
Weren’t all those charged with her husband’s death let off last year? Yeah. So she’s joined the Gujarat Parivartan Party (GPP) which was formed by Keshubhai Patel after he left BJP. She’s campaigning from the same constituency which her husband represented – Ellisbridge.
So what’s her political plank? Her’s is a sentimental one. She’s said that the “BJP was Haren’s family, but he was let down. So I am contesting this election to seek justice in the court of the people”. She even asks people for votes saying that it would be shraddhanjali for her murdered husband.
So what’s the motivation to contest against Modi? Haren Pandya was his Home Minister after all. Shouldn’t her allegiance be to him, even if not to the party? Well, it’s always been reported and conjectured that Pandya’s was a political murder. He had deposed before the Citizen’s Tribunal on the riots. Then at a cabinet meeting he had reportedly said that the corpses of the Godhra victims shouldn’t be brought to Ahmedabad as this might result in violence. But nobody listened to him. Then, coincidentally, Modi removed him as Home Minister in July 2002 and didn’t give him a ticket from the Ellisbridge constituency for the 2002 Assembly elections. And in March 2003 his bullet-ridden dead body was found in his car at Ahmedabad’s Law Gardens. And then, in 2011, the Gujarat high court acquitted all the 12 accused in the Haren Pandya murder case.
And this has also been blamed on Modi? How many damned spots to get out, really. I do hope he’s using a hand softener after this continuous hand rinsing. Poor chap, I feel everyone just blames him for no reason. Maybe it’s time to unleash his own wife on his detractors. Call her back from the village, I say.
So will either of these ladies be successful? Not in winning a seat maybe, but they will be at raking up the past and throwing some muck at Modi. Just when he thought he’d steer clear of 2002 this time around. He never bargained for these valiant wives to jump into the fray. Even the Iron Man can never catch a break.
Don’t recite: Rudyard Kipling’s The Female Of The Species
Do sing: No Woman, No Cry
Comment Policy: We encourage discussion and debate in our comments, among viewers and writers. However comments that are abusive or personal in nature, will be deleted.
All our articles are run through a software to avoid the possibility of unattributed work finding its way into Newslaundry.