When Bollywood celebs became the face of politics
Lok Sabha elections are round the corner and as expected political parties are trying to rope in as many celebrities as possible to raise the glamour quotient. We look at celebs already in the electoral fray
Lok Sabha elections are round the corner and as expected political parties are trying to rope in as many celebrities as possible to raise the glamour quotient.
We take a look at how politically effective were the ones who were already in the fray…
Mithun Chakraborty, actor
Affiliated to: Trinamool Congress
Political role: He was elected as a Rajya Sabha MP in February this year.
Quote unquote: “I have been given the job of looking after people’s welfare. A Rajya Sabha seat should not be treated as an ornamental position. In any case, I don’t take on any responsibility half-heartedly. I either do it with full sincerity or I don’t take it on at all.”
Bappi Lahiri, music director
Affiliated to: Bharatiya Janta Party
Political role: He has campaigned for the Congress and Trinamool Congress but he joined the Bharatiya Janata Party two months ago.
Quote unquote: “I want to focus on issues related to Bollywood and Tollywood. My area of work will include film technicians, retired artistes and musicians. I want to also help children from lower strata of the society as they don’t get equal opportunities to become playback singers. Education will definitely be on my agenda as I have already worked in this field in my capacity as UNESCO Nepal’s brand ambassador for education for all.”
Hema Malini, actress
Affiliated to: BJP
Political role: She was a Rajya Sabha MP from 2005 to 2009 and she continues to be an active member of the BJP.
Quote unquote: “I am actively involved in politics even after the expiry of my term as an MP. If I get to contest the Lok Sabha elections this year, I will be more than happy. If I get to contest from Mumbai, then I will work towards eradicating corruption, much like Arvind Kejriwal. My key area will be environment and safety of women. During my tenure as an MP, I got the Juhu beach cleaned. This was a tough job as dealing with hawkers is not easy.”
Mahesh Manjrekar, filmmaker
Affiliated to: Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS)
Political role: He joined MNS in 2011 and is their candidate from North West Mumbai in the 2014 elections.
Quote unquote: “Health and hygiene is a big issue that needs to be worked upon. I don’t believe in building metros and constructing roads by cutting trees; instead, we need to plant more trees and have more open spaces in the city. We need to breathe in clean air. On the health front, tuberculosis has been spreading in the city like an epidemic; pulmonary diseases are rampant in the city as well. I also want to bring about equality in education.”
Affiliated to: Not associated with any political party.
Political role: In 2012, she was nominated as a Rajya Sabha MP by the President of India. Since then, she has been working on issues related to children’s development, environment and culture.
Quote unquote: At an earlier event in Mumbai, she said, “I looking forward to serving the people. I promise to do my work from the bottom of my heart. I will continue to serve and entertain you. I will make you proud of me.”
Prakash Jha, filmmaker
Affiliated to: Janta Dal United
Political role: In 2009 Lok Sabha elections, he contested (and lost) in Champaran, a Bihar constituency. He has been spearheading growth in infrastructure, education and farmers’ welfare. This year, he is contesting from Bettiah in Bihar.
Quote unquote: “I would like to focus on the development of Bihar and take it to the next level by tackling problems such as employment opportunities for its youth. I wish to help Nitish Kumar fulfil his dreams for Bihar. I hope that jungle raj never returns to Bihar. Last but not the least, I want to look into the welfare of farmers in the state.”
Jaya Bachchan, actress
Affiliated to: Samajwadi Party
Political role: She embarked on a career in politics when she joined the Rajya Sabha member in 2004. In 2012, she became a Lok Sabha member.
Quote unquote: At an earlier public event, she said, “Hum UP ke log hain, isliye Hindi mein baat karenge, Maharashtra ke log maaf kijiye”. (We are from UP, so we will speak in Hindi. People of Maharashtra, please excuse us).”
Affiliated to: Congress
Political role: She has been a Congress supporter since 2006 and has been keen to contest the elections for a long time now.
Quote unquote: “My mom is Muslim and my dad is Hindu. We were raised in an environment where we were asked to respect all religions. Communal riots pained me and I wanted to do something about it, so I joined politics.”
Affiliated to: Praja Rajyam
Political role: He formed his own party, Praja Rajyam, in 2008. In 2012, he joined the Rajya Sabha and in the same year, he was sworn in as the Union Minister of State in the Ministry of Tourism (Independent Charge).
Quote unquote: “No one can stop me from entering the political arena and nobody can force me to do so as well.”
Pawan Kalyan, actor
Affiliated to: This year, he plans to start his own party.
Political role: Since 2009
Quote unquote: “There have been reports on television stating that I have personal differences with my brother, Chiranjeevi. I’d like to say that they are completely baseless,” Pawan Kalyan had said in an earlier statement.
Moon Moon Sen, actress
Affiliated to: Trinamool Congress
Political role: She joined the party in March 2014 and will contest the upcoming Lok Sabha election.
Quote unquote: “I don’t know why people are going about the ‘glamour’ factor. It shouldn’t be an unknown factor in politics because we have an Italian who is like a PM and former actress Jayalalithaa as CM with quite a personality and a unique wardrobe.”