Corporation elections: It's Mahabharat on Delhi streets

Apr 13, 2012, 09:38 IST | Surender Sharma

To cash in on popularity of actors who played mythological characters on TV, political parties rope in 'Arjun', 'Bheem', 'Yudhishthir', 'Duryodhan' and 'Bheeshm' to campaign for them ahead of the upcoming civic polls

Today being the last day for canvassing for the April 15 Municipal Corporation of Delhi elections, all major political parties have pumped in all their resources to woo voters. Along with candidates, one can see ‘Lord Ram’ and several characters from the Mahabharat taking to streets asking for votes.

For God’s sake! Actress Nagma campaigning for Congress candidate Rekha Rani in the capital yesterday. (below) Arun Govil, who played Lord Ram in the epic Ramayan series was also seen canvassing for candidates ahead of the MCD polls. Pic/Rajeev Tyagi

Arun Govil, who played Lord Ram in the epic Ramayan series, along with Mukesh Khanna (Bheeshm), Arjun (Arjun), Praveen Kumar (Bheem), Gajendera Chauhan (Yudhishthir) and Puneet Issar (Duryodhan) of BR Chopra’s Mahabharat can be seen on Delhi streets trying to woo voters either for Congress or the BJP.

Along with television stars, even B-town celebrities have been pressed by candidates and parties for the elections. BJP has roped in Smriti Irani, Shatrughan Sinha, Navjot Singh Sidhu and Hema Malini, while Congress has Mohammad Azharuddin, Nagma, Mahima Chaudhary and Raj Babbar campaigning for the party candidates.

Even cricketer Virender Sehwag was seen in South Delhi yesterday campaigning for his sister Anju, who is contesting on a Congress ticket.
The parties claim that it is the candidates who have roped in the celebrities who share their ideology. “Actors have a strong public connect. But as far as our party is concerned, we only take help of those who subscribe to our party ideology and have been associated with the party in any manner,” said Vani Tripathi, poll manager for the BJP.

“Just getting celebrities doesn't help. It has become a fashion to invite Bollywood actors. Even if a candidate wins by wooing votes with a known face, he will still have to work to prove himself,” said Jai Kishan Sharma, leader of the Congress Party in MCD. He added that parties do not arrange celebrities for its candidates, it is they who get the stars on their own. 

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