Lucknow, April 27 : She is not unnerved about making her electoral debut against a political stalwart. She is confident that the development work done by her party will help her sail through to the victory stand.
Poonam Sinha, 69, looks radiant and fresh as she sets out for campaigning. There are no signs of yesterday's stress or worries about tomorrow's schedule.
She is upbeat with the response of the people of Lucknow and recalls her connect with the City of Nawabs.
"My association with Lucknow goes back a long time. When my parents migrated from Karachi in 1947, they had first found a home in Lucknow," she says.
Talking about her choice of Samajwadi Party and that too, after her husband Shatrughan Sinha joined the Congress, she says, "I have been talking to Akhilesh Yadav since last year. I was impressed with his youthful energy, his vision and his determination to do something for the people."
She says that the Yadav family has been taking care of her. "They have given me an excellent team that programmes and guides my campaign. Akhilesh asked his wife Dimple to accompany me for nomination even though he was filing his own nomination in Azamgarh on the same day. Which other party will treat you like their own family member?" she asked.
She denies being unnerved about contesting against Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and says, "There are always exceptions to the rule. No seat or state belongs to one particular party and the people have the right to choose if they want a change. I have never spoken a word against Rajnathji. I will not get into negative campaigning. I am talking only about myself and my party."
Reacting to the controversy over Shatrughan Sinha, a Congress member, campaigning for her when she filed her nomination papers, Poonam Sinha says, "He did not campaign - he simply accompanied me when I went to file my nomination papers and that is something that a husband is allowed to do. He is a senior politician and has spent almost three decades in serious politics. He knows what he is doing."
The actor wife says that she got interested in politics about a decade ago but waited for her children to grow up and get settled.
But why did she not join BJP? "Earlier, the BJP was led by people with a heart. It is not the same anymore. They do not talk and do not want to listen. I would have been uncomfortable there," she says.
Poonam Sinha feels that the BJP has burnt itself out. "People tell me that the Yogi Adityanath government has undone everything good that the Samajwadi Party had achieved in its five-year term between 2012 and 2017. Voters tell me they want the good old days of the SP back in Lucknow and in Uttar Pradesh," she says.
Asked whether her star daughter Sonakshi Sinha will help her in the campaign, Poonam Sinha smiles and says, "Sonakshi is busy with her assignments and may come if she gets time. I am quite capable of running my own campaign. My sons are here with me."