‘Slumdog…’ child-stars welcome to support us: Mumbai CongressMarch 5th, 2009 - 7:31 pm ICT by IANS
Mumbai, Mar 5 (IANS) The Mumbai Congress will “welcome” the two young stars from the Oscar winning “Slumdog Millionaire”, Azharuddin and Rubina, if they choose to campaign for the party during the Lok Sabha elections, a senior office-bearer said here Thursday.
“If they want to join us in the campaigning or support us like many other children, they shall be welcomed,” Mumbai Regional Congress Committee (MRCC) president Kripa Shankar Singh told mediapersons this afternoon.
He was responding to a query, whether - after securing the rights to the use the number “Jai Ho” from the Oscar award winning “Slumdog Millionaire” - the party would take the help of the two children during the elections.
The two kids - Azharuddin Mohammed Ismail Shaikh (10) and Rubina Rafiq Aali Qureshi (9) - have become celebrities in their own right and live in Garib Nagar slum, which falls in the constituency of Congress MP Priya Dutt.
Singh, however, made it clear that the two kids shall not be “hired” by the party to campaign for its candidates - “If they volunteer, we shall be happy to include them in our campaign,” he said.
Azharuddin’s mother Shamim and Rubina’s father Rafiq, when contacted, told IANS that “we shall definitely send our children a couple of times, if the Congress wants them.”
“However, the party office-bearers would have to plan it out in advance with us since both the schoolgoing kids shall be appearing for their final examinations. The past one year has been very hectic and exciting, plus they have to cover up a lot of curriculum,” they both said.
Singh added that the state government has gifted a flat each to Azharuddin and Rubina, but the allotment cannot be made now in view of the election code of conduct which has taken effect.