Elections may not be a beauty contest but who says pretty women can't be in active politics, questions actress Aahana Kumra, who played Priyanka Gandhi in "The Accidental Prime Minister".
Ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, Bihar deputy chief minister and senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi took potshots at Priyanka Gandhi by saying that an election is "not a beauty contest" and people will cast their vote on the basis of past performance.
Aahana has a strong opinion about it.
"Why can't a pretty woman be in politics? She's (Priyanka Gandhi) gorgeous, and why not? Is India full of ugly men or people who are not nice looking? Does it have to be the older men all the time?
"Why can't a younger woman take part in active politics? Why do they have to shun somebody down... There are very few women in Indian politics, and I am completely up for those who are actively participating.
"If they don't, who do we look at? We don't have role models then," said the young actress.
On Priyanka Gandhi's foray into active politics as Congress General Secretary in-charge of eastern Uttar Pradesh, Aahana quipped: "I think I inspired her."
But on a serious note, she added: "It was obviously something that the Congress had thought about. I don't know what their policies are. But I was very excited when I got to know about it.
"I was like, 'Oh! Did I just hear it right? She's finally foraying into active politics'... Because she had been denying it all this while. I was reading so much about her and following what she had done, so it was very interesting to know."
As a responsible citizen, Aahana says she is a regular voter.
"I am one from those families that wake up in the morning and goes into voting first thing," she said, adding that the culture of voting is something that needs to be nurtured at home.
"Maybe parents don't push the youngsters enough. In my house, people actively follow politics... It is something ingrained into my life. I don't understand why people don't go and vote. And NOTA is not a vote. Have an opinion. Vote for the person you want to vote," she urged the youth.
Aahana spoke to IANS on the sidelines of the Lakme Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2019, where she walked the ramp as showstopper for designer label Gazal Mishra.
She looked elegant in a stylish lehenga choli.
(Radhika Bhirani can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. She is in Mumbai on an invitation by LFW organisers)