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‘I was not a misfit in Parliament’

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Shabana Azmi says she was never a misfit as a member of Parliament because she always put her point across. The "Neerja" actress was a nominated member of the Rajya Sabha in 1997, and considers the tenure as a huge learning experience.

"I was not a misfit in Parliament because I really looked upon my work as a parliamentarian as separate from being a politician, because I was nominated and did not have any constituency to," Azmi said, while speaking at the India Today Conclave.

The 65 year old actress said her time in the upper house of the Parliament was a huge learning experience for her. "For me, the most important thing was, I was getting an opportunity because I have been working at the grass roots for about 25 years before I entered Parliament. I thought there is a disconnect with those working at the grass root and that place where policies are framed... I essentially saw myself as somebody who represents the grass root. So, I really thought that was a huge learning experience for me.''

Though she loved her time in Parliament, Azmi has no plans to contest an election ever. "I will never contest an election because I don't want to join a political party. I feel if you join a political party, you put the fetters on. Party's truth becomes your truth and you lose your independence," she said.

But her lyricist-writer husband Javed Akhtar said he will contest election against All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) leader, Asaduddin Owaisi, in the wake of Owaisi's refusal to say "Bharat Mata Ki Jai". Akhtar was asked if he would contest election against him. To which he said, "If I contest elections against him in a place with Hindus and Muslims in a 50-50 proportion, I know I will get votes from everybody."

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