Dancer, activist and now Lok Sabha candidate Mallika Sarabhai fired a broadside at BJP leader Lal Krishna Advani — her rival for the Gandhinagar seat in Gujarat — during an interaction in Jawaharlal University on Tuesday.
“I have been living there for over 50 years and interacted with people at all levels. Advani hasn’t even lived in Gujarat, doesn’t speak the language and moreover, in all these 20 years (he has not) ever debated Gujarat in the Parliament. Off late, I’ve got the sense that everyone has had it with him, given the way he has treated the state,” she said.
Sarabhai, 54, is contesting as an independent candidate. Through her ‘people to people’ campaign, which she claims has no strategy manager, Sarabhai said she wanted to reach out to the 16 lakh people in her constituency, of whom “58 per cent don’t even vote”.
Sarabhai’s family name is well known in Gujarat and she claimed she had been getting offers to contest since 1984.
“I said no to elections all this while, being a critic from the outside. For the last 5-7 years, I didn’t even think I had it in me to do it.”
She said she was persuaded to contest on her own this time by various civil society groups for “making a difference through national politics with our rainbow coalition”.
Asked how she saw herself as a politician, Sarabhai said, “I would call myself an elected representative of the people, not a politician — it has become a dirty word today.”