The verdict is out. The BJP stormed its way to victory in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections and produced an unlikely "giant killer" in Union Minister Smriti Irani who beat Congress chief Rahul Gandhi in family bastion Amethi.
Days after her triumph, the actress-turned-politician walked barefoot to Mumbai's famous Siddhi Vinayak Temple. The distance? A whopping 14 km. Her close friend and producer Ekta Kapoor accompanied her.
Ms Kapoor shared pictures and video snippets of the visit on Instagram. Ekta Kapoor's 4-month old son Ravie, born via surrogacy, also joined the trip.
Ms Kapoor shared a photograph of them on Instagram and captioned it: "14 km to Siddhi Vinayak ke baad ka glow (the glow after 14 km to Siddhi Vinayak)".
Ekta Kapoor was the producer of popular TV show "Kyunki saas bhi kabhi bahu thi" which made Smriti Irani a star and a household name.
Smriti Irani joined the BJP in 2003 and contested unsuccessfully against Congress's Kapil Sibal from Delhi's Chandni Chowk. She contested against Rahul Gandhi from Amethi in 2014 and lost by over a lakh votes. She contested again this year from the Congress bastion and beat Rahul Gandhi by over 55,000 votes. Amethi, a dusty, largely rural constituency around 130 km from Uttar Pradesh capital Lucknow, has rarely looked beyond the Congress or the Gandhi family.
Smriti Irani had thanked people for the verdict with a tweet in Hindi, saying, "Kaun kehta hai aasmaa me surakh nahinho sakta (Who says you can't drill a hole in a sky)" she quoted poet Dushyant Kumar in her tweet to assert that nothing was impossible. She also summed up her remarkable victory on Instagram with a famous quote from popular TV show "Game of Thrones":
After her win, Ekta Kapoor had called Ms Irani a "giant slayer of politics" and wrote lyrics out of the title track of "Kyunki saas bhi kabhi bahu thi" to celebrate her victory in elections.
"The people of Amethi have shown their faith in us through their votes and I am thankful to them. Even after I lost the elections in 2014, I worked for the people of Amethi. Now that I have won, I will serve them again," Smriti Irani had told news agency ANI.