In politics, they may appear to be sworn enemies but what unites them is their shared belief that they have been bestowed with skills in celluloid histrionics.
Poster of the Bhojpuri film "Pyar Mohabbat Zindabad". (HT Photo)
Former members of Parliament and a dozen Janata Dal (United) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislators of Bihar make the cast of a new Bhojpuri film set to life by actor and state art and culture minister Vinay Bihari.
In a first, these lawmakers have got together to lend their acting skills to an all new Bhojpuri tearjerker called – well, how's this for an original idea – Pyar, Mohabbat Zindabad.
The plot thickens just half an hour into the film when an unlikely romance blooms between – lo and behold – a Mahadalit (a category comprising the poorest among the Dalits in Bihar) girl and an upper caste boy.
Expectedly, the union is resisted as the couple goes through travails and the legislators put meat into the storyline - some as supporters of the protagonists and still others as their opponents.
The film will be screened in Patna on July 11 with chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi cutting the ribbon.
The movie features JD(U) MLAs Shravan Kumar (Nalanda), Rajesh Singh (Valmiki Nagar), Poonam Devi Yadav (Khagaria), Lalan Ram (Kutumba), Pradeep Kumar (Warsaliganj) and Sumit Kumar Singh (Chakai).
The BJP is represented in the film by its MLAs Jawahir Prasad (Sasaram), Shyamdeo Paswan (Bodh Gaya), Usha Vidyarthy (Paliganj) and Bhagirathi Devi (Ramnagar).
Poonam Devi Yadav's husband Ranvir Yadav and her sister Krishna Devi Yadav, who is the Khagaria district board chairperson and second wife of Ranvir, is also among the cast. So is Som Prakash Singh, a sub inspector turned independent MLA from Obra (Aurangabad).
Bihar culture minister Behari, who has also directed the film, is elated.
"This is the first time legislators have debuted in a Bhojpuri film in such large numbers. I am holding a special screening for the CM on a Saturday or Sunday," he said.
"Bhojpuri films are considered a package of vulgar scenes and songs. I introduced honourable ministers to convey the message nothing is wrong with Bhojiwood films," he said.
Though it was difficult to make the netas learn their dialogues and make them emote along the lines of the script, things went well.
While some took hardly a few hours to learn the lines, others had to go through several retakes before the final shot.
Bihari said the maximum number of retakes had to be taken while shooting with Baidyanath Prasad Mahto, the former Lok Sabha MP from Valmikinagar in northwestern Bihar.
"As soon as the camera was put on, the former JD(U) Valmikinagar MP (he lost in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls) used to forget the dialogues in his role as a cop," Bihari said.
Even Usha Vidyarthi, the Paliganj MLA who plays the hero's mother, took a good time and caused the makers to go in for many retakes before giving the final shot.
"Her character on the screen needed many changes in facial expressions - lots of tears and crying. But Ushaji worked hard," he said.
"Even Ranvir Yadav (an ex-MLA known for his strong arm ways) has done well in the role of the hero's uncle. In the movie he doesn't look like a Bahubali. In fact, all the politicians acted well," he added.
In the movie one will see Jawahir Prasad, the Sasaram BJP MLA, as the heroine's father and Rajesh Singh, Bhagirathi Devi, Shravan Kumar, Lalan Ram and Pradeep Kumar as ministers and Sumit Kumar and Som Prakash acting as cops.
Ask him, who the villain is and Bihari smiles.
"Let's keep that under wraps," he said.