Comedian Raju Srivastava on his political innings and his new show

In this election season many television stars have sought to walk in the footsteps of Smriti Irani who starred in the serial Kyun Ki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi many years ago and is today a well established Bharatiya Janata Party leader. Now she is contesting opposite Rahul Gandhi in Amethi. Among the most prominent television stars trying to walk the same path is ace comedian Raju Srivastava. Raju had initially joined the Samajwadi Party but is now a part of the BJP.

Speaking on the sidelines of the conference of Gangs of Haseepur, a variety comedy show on Zee TV in which he is participating, Raju explained his reasons for quitting the Samajwadi Party. “I worked for the party for nearly one year, I was also given a Lok Sabha ticket from my hometown Kanpur. But in the one year what I saw was a lot of indiscipline and corruption in the party for which I complained to both Mulayam Singh and Akhilesh Yadav. They promised to but never took any action. I then returned their ticket and left the party. I want to serve the people of the country, it is time to come out of the air-conditioned rooms and cars to the roads. So, I have now joined the BJP on the request of Rajnath Singh. I am in constant touch with Pratibha Advani and will campaign for the party.”

However, unlike Smriti, Raju will continue to be seen on television. At present he is starring in the show Comedy Nights with Kapil and will be seen in Gangs Of Haseepur.

About the new show , he said, “This show is about making people laugh. We will bring you the asli chehras of some of the big political leaders of our country. I will be enacting nearly 15 characters on the show including the likes of Mamata Banerjee, Mayawati, Jayalalithaa and others. We have started shooting for it. Playing Sharad Pawar was a bit difficult for me and for Jayalalita it took me four-five hours to get ready, cushions were wrapped on my body to give me that bulky look. Comedians like Suresh Menon and Bharti Singh are also there, Tanisha Mukherjee and Mandira Bedi are also there adding to the glamour quotient and another beauty, Ragini Khanna, will be hosting it.”

“The politicians never complain about making fun of them on such shows, in fact they send us requests through their assistants to include us and at times they even send us their DVDs. When I started my career I did mimic Rajiv Gandhi in his presence,” he added.

This political innings means life has come a full circle for Raju, who claims he had come to Mumbai with just rupees three hundred in his pocket and got only rupees seventy five for his first performance.

The show will be aired on Zee TV every Saturday and Sunday at 8 p.m. starting April 26.