Power girls

Kanti Singh

Former minister of state in the Human Resource Development ministry is a Laloo Yadav protege. When she contested for the Lok Sabha in 1996, Laloo not only campaigned for her, but also ordered four or five ministers in the state government to work for her. Within a few weeks of her becoming minister in 1996, she was shifted to the powerful coal ministry, thanks to her mentor. The wife of a Bihar PWD overseer, Kanti Singh was frank enough to admit: “Ye sab Lalooji ke chalte hua hai” (all this is is because of Lalooji). 

Barkha Patil

The name of this Lavani dancer from the Lavani town of Chaufula near Pune was linked to former Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Gopinath Munde. Bal Thackeray at party workers’ meeting asked Munde not to fear public exposure. The Shiv Sena Supremo’s words: “Pyar kiya to darna kya” (“To love, why fear?”) chilled the SS-BJP relationship for a while.

Pratibha Prahlad

The other word for caution is the late Ramakrishna Hegde, in matters of the runaway heart. Though seen often in the company of danseuse Pratibha Prahlad in Delhi dos, both spiked rumours that they had entered into wedlock.

Kusum Rai

Daughter of an RSS leader, she was so close to Kalyan Singh of Ayodhya demolition fame that Lucknow was abuzz with rumours in 1999. So much so, the BJP leadership forced Kalyan to make her quit the powerful chairmanship of the State Social Welfare Board.
At a press conference, she was asked about Sushma Swaraj’s criticism of her (Rai) relationship with Kalyan. Rai hit out: “Why does she forget that she too has reached, wherever she is today, through the same route.”

Smita Thackeray

Married to the elder and estranged son of Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray, Jaidev, Smita lived with her father-in-law after being divorced, setting tongues wagging. She wielded power in Maharashtra as long as SS was on top of the game. She chose Narayan Rane to succeed Manohar Joshi as Chief Minister. When Madam launched herself as a film producer, release of Amir Khan starrer, “Mann”, was delayed to accommodate her maiden offering, “Haseena man Jayegi”. With the SS sun having set, Smita is eyeing fresh pastures in Congress.


Radhika

The tabloids have much to say about former chief minister H D Kumaraswamy’s fascination for ‘Ninagaagi’ girl from coastal Karnataka. Many have even written about a second visit of the stork to Radhika’s Dollars Colony home.

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