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Gul Panag: From NaMo tweet to AAP Chandigarh candidate
CHANDIGARH: Actor and former Miss India Gul Panag, who had tweeted ‘NaMo for PM’ in June 2012, is AAP’s choice for Chandigarh constituency. She had joined AAP three days ago.
For Gul, it was a perfect marriage anniversary gift. Exactly three years ago on the same day, she had married her childhood sweetheart Rishi Attari in the city and taken out a procession on a motorcycle.
As an actor, Gul won acclaim for her roles in films such as Dor and Manorama Six Feet Under. But of late, as the roles dwindled, she stayed in popular consciousness doing ads and tweeting relentlessly.
Her 785,000 tweets must have kept her 792,000 followers engaged, if not elated. One such tweet on February 9, 2012 revealed her soft spot for the BJP prime ministerial candidate.
“SC supervised SIT gives clean chit to Namo. HC slams him. The latter is on front page and the former buried deep inside,” she posted. On Thursday, when AAP leader Manish Sisodia introduced her as the party’s candidate, journalists quizzed the 35-year-old Chandigarh-born on her Namo tweets. Clad in blue jeans, white T-shirt, blue blazer, light brown muffler and sans make-up, Gul replied, “That was when there was no AAP around. You look for no alternative and find the one-eyed in a land of the blind. It is not a choice. It is fait accompli.”
She also urged the need “to look beyond women’s physical form and look at her credentials.” If one goes by her Twitter bio, there is plenty: “actor, activist, aviator, animal lover, adrenalin junkie, adventurer, avid traveller, automobile & fitness enthusiast, biker, entrepreneur, student, writer.”
One can add masters in political science to that. “I have recently completed my masters in political science and it is not easy task to go back to college 10 years after finishing. I hold a degree in the subject that I am here to fight for,” said the actor, also known for her dimpled smile and love for horses.
The daughter of a retired Army general will be contesting against Congress leader Pawan Bansal. Speaking about the impending electoral battle, she said, “I have an immense respect for his political acumen. I am here to offer a change. I have more energy than Bansal and can run faster.” Gul has replaced Savita Bhatti, wife of popular satirist-cum-actor, the late Jaspal Bhatti, who pulled out of the race earlier this week. When there was chaos at a media interaction, the AAP candidate took it in her stride and said, “Kuch toh baat hai hum meh.. sadiyon se raha hai dushman daur-e-jahan hamara.”