"I don't want to win this election, I only want to win your hearts," said Bollywood's original he-man, smiling sweetly.
The Dharmendra line that no mimic ever misses in his show goes, "Kameene, kutte, main tera khoon pee jaaoonga." On the evidence of the personality Garam Dharam put on display at Bikaner on Thursday, they clearly do the man injustice.
In Rajasthan's bhujia city to file his nomination as the BJP's candidate, Bollywood's original he-man could actually have had a halo (not to be confused with a 43-degree heat haze) around his head. "I don't want to win this election, I only want to win your hearts," he said, smiling sweetly.
There seemed little chance of his not winning though - not if the number of people who came to listen to him at the rally in front of Junagadh fort were taken as an indication of the number of people who might vote for him. "Record margin se jeetega," predicted Joga Ram of Budaron ki Dhani.
Dharmendra's Congress opponent Ramnarayan Dudi (another Jat in a constituency where some 20 per cent of voters are Jats) says the filmstar is an "outsider". On Thursday, Dharmendra replied that he belongs to all Bharat: "Bharat Mata ka udhaar chukana hai, isliye rajniti mein aaya hoon."
The 'son of the soil' declared himself worth 22 crore. The statement also included details of assets owned by his "wife", but did not name her. So it is not clear whether these assets belong to Prakash Kaur — Sunny’s mum — or to Hema Malini. Hema was more forthcoming. At the Rajya Sabha, she named Dharmendra Deol as her husband.