A fierce electoral battle appears on the cards in Rampur Lok Sabha constituency in Uttar Pradesh, where two one time associates turned bitter foes— film actor-turned-politician Jaya Prada and firebrand Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Azam Khan — would be slugging it out in the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls.
The rivalry between Jaya Prada and Azam Khan, whose home town is Rampur, goes back over a decade when the Jaya was an SP MP and Khan a minister in the state.
It was Khan, who had persuaded Jaya, a close aide of former SP leader Amar Singh, to contest the 2004 Lok Sabha polls from Rampur and helped her romp home.
Their equations changed later and the two became bitter foes. Khan had vehemently opposed Jaya's candidature in 2009. She, however, won again from Rampur despite Khan's opposition.
The two leaders would often indulge in verbal duels, which crossed all limits at time. Jaya had once termed Khan as 'Alauddin Khilji' while Khan had called her "nachne wali" (dancer).
Khan was even expelled from SP for a brief period after Amar Singh, taking strong exception to Khan's remarks on Jaya, demanded his expulsion.
Khan, however, had the last laugh and both Singh and Jaya were shown the door by the SP in 2010.
Jaya joined the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) and contested the 2014 LS polls from Bijnore.
She, however, lost her security deposit and it seemed as if her political career had ended. Once, she had also announced that she was contemplating retirement from active politics.
Things, however, changed, when Amar Singh tilted toward the BJP. He even donated his ancestral property at his village in Azamgarh to the RSS a few months ago.
It remains to be seen, who has the last laugh.