Making his electoral debut from Patna Sahib constituency against BJP heavyweight Shatrughan Sinha, Congress candidate and Bhojpuri actor Kunal Singh has refused to call the poll battle a clash of stars and said it would be more of a contest between a prince and a pauper.
Earlier, Raj Kumar Rajan was to have contested from the prestigious seat, but Congress finally decided to field the Bhojpuri superstar against Sinha.
“Shatruji is like my elder brother, but I don’t believe it will be a clash of stars. I am not a star, rather I am a son of Bihar’s soil.
“I was born and brought up here and am well aware of the local issues. It will be a fight between a ‘Raja’ (prince) and a ‘Rank’ (pauper) as that is the condition of Bhojpuri artistes as compared to Bollywood actors,” Kunal told PTI over the phone.
Kunal comes from a political background with his father, the late Budhadev Singh, having been an MLA from Bakhtiarpur and Danapur. The two Assembly segments fall under the Patna Sahib and Patliputra Lok Sabha constituencies, respectively.
Asked how he was going to counter his opponent’s mass appeal and star power, Kunal said he need not do that as the people considered him to be one of them.
“Voters are wiser now and they will elect the candidate who is with them and understands their concerns. I have a home in Patna and stay there for at least one week in a month. I meet them and try to be their voice. I have been doing my bit for them, although this will be my electoral debut. I don’t make sky-high promises, but I will try to solve their regular problems,” he said.
He said that the upcoming polls would be a contest between communal and secular forces in which the people were not going to be misled by false propaganda.
“The 2014 Lok Sabha elections is going to be fought under different circumstances. It is a fight between communal and secular forces. They cannot trap the people through false propaganda and marketing strategies,” said the veteran actor who has received an award from President Pranab Mukherjee in 2012 for promoting the Bhojpuri language through cinema.
“Voters don’t believe in the so-called Narendra Modi wave as they are well aware that nobody has a magic wand which would solve problems overnight.
“Rahul (Gandhi) is young and has the dynamism to bring change in the coming years by setting realistic goals,” he said.