Hema Malini elected to Rajya Sabha from Karnataka

Yesteryears Bollywood actress and Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) star attraction Hema Malini is set to re-enter the Rajya Sabha — this time as elected member from Karnataka.

She was nominated to the Rajya Sabha in 2003 for a six-year term by the then National Democratic Alliance (NDA) prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee of the BJP.

Her choice as BJP candidate for the March 3 poll was announced in New Delhi late Friday, though there were several contenders from Karnataka BJP for the seat.

Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa Saturday denied a rift in the state BJP unit over Hema Malini’s selection.

“There is no rift. The party high command has taken the decision and we are all bound by it,” he told reporters here, about 300 km from Karnataka capital Bangalore.

Yeddyurappa’s denial comes in the midst of reports that he was pushing for nomination of his confidant and former BJP central minister V. Dhanajaya Kumar.

The Rajya Sabha seat from Karnataka became vacant following the death of M.V. Rajashekara Murthy of Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) Dec 5.

The filmstar’s victory is assured as the ruling BJP has 107 members, including the assembly speaker. It can bank on the support of one Independent member also. She would be in the Rajya Sabha till April 2 next year.