28 February, 2021

Hits & Mrs

Suffragettes to surrogates - that's the slogan politicians are adopting across the political spectrum for Elections '99, bringing in wives as substitutes for the absentee lords. Probably not what they had in mind when they talked about a higher repre

Hits & Mrs
Louise Khursheed, wife of Salman Khursheed and the Congress candidate from Farrukhabad, Uttar Pradesh

CRISP white salwar-kameez and tricolour dupatta in place, this one-time journalist now described as "housewife and mother of four" is nothing more than a blur of Action shoes as she rushes from door to door, reminding the electorate of Farrukhabad, from where she's contesting for the Lok Sabha: "I'm here to serve you." Wife of upcc chief Salman Khursheed, who himself has won the "traditional family seat" precisely once, Louise is obviously loath to let just anybody replace her better half. Especially as Salman may need all the help he can get from Farrukhabad if he's to get elected to the UP assembly and aspire for the CM's post in the near future.

For the moment, 'Louise Madam' is going full throttle canvassing for votes in this North Indian backwater. "Little did I know I'd land here when I married Salman in '84", she says. Politics "repelled" her in her younger days, but there are no regrets now. Naturally. "I guess it was my father's (a senior bureaucrat)...

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