Stars shine at the polls
Stars shine at the polls. There is an old saying in Hindi, Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar, but sometimes those who fight are no less than a king....
There is an old saying in Hindi, Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar, but sometimes those who fight are no less than a king. Approximately 20 film personalities contested in 2014 elections. The results are out and to everybody’s surprise most of the film candidates barring a few have won. Let us look from where they came and how they fared in an alphabetical order:
Singer Babul Supriyo represented Asanol for BJP. When I saw him campaign in the narrow streets singing to the people I felt that Supriyo was making a mistake but clearly he has struck a chord with his constituency and defeated his arch rival Dola Sen/ TMC with a margin of 70,480 votes. All I can say is tera jadoo chal gaya Supriyo.
Actor Chalakuddy was an independent candidate, in a way he was the dark horse nobody expected to win but Chalakuddy applied the same passion that he does to his films and tried and tested defeated Congress candidate PC Chakco by a margin of 13,884 votes.
Gul Panang best remembered for her portrayal in ‘Dor’ and activist for animal rights, contested from Chandigarh for AAP and locked horns with Kirron Kher, mother of her one time boyfriend Sikander Kher. She was confident of winning but lost to the senior actor Kirron Kher contesting for BJP. Hema Malini was a serving Rajya Sabha member when she was given the choice to contest elections by her party. She was given three choices Mumbai, Bihar and Mathura. Hema Malini chose Mathura because Brij is the land of Krishna and she is a Krishna devotee. I traveled with her on her campaign and everywhere the women cheered for her, assured her of their votes. They kept their word and the dream girl scored a thumping victory over JChoudhary of RLD, who is still reeling under a shock!
Jaya Prada representing RLD thought her glamour quotient will attract the people it did but only for the road shows. The actor has changed too many political parties for the voter to trust her. Jaya failed miserably, losing to K Bhartender of BJP by a margin of 4.6Lakhs.
Kirron Kher wrapped her reality show and film shooting in time to devote all her time and attention to the contesting. She was angry when she was called an outsider to Chandigarh by her rivals but maintained her cool. “I will win” she told the TV channels showing away her dimples and she did.
Filmmaker Mahesh Manjrekar represented MNS and had mobile vans with his picture touring the city months in advance, but sadly lost to G Kirtikar of Shiv Sena by a large margin 3.91 L. I think Manjrekar had sensed it long ago that it was a BJP wave but could not say no to Raj Thackeray.
Bhojpuri actor Manoj Tiwari has a way with words and his fans simply dote on him. Call it charisma, sincerity or backing the right horse but Tiwari representing BJP defeated AAP’s Anand Kumar in North East Delhi by a thumping margin of 1,44,084 and has not stopped smiling since then.
Moon Moon Sen was never taken seriously as an actor either in Kolkata or in Mumbai. In Kolkata she was compared to her legendary mother Suchitra Sen and in Mumbai she was reduced to a sex symbol, so it was surprising when she agreed to fight elections from Bankura on a ticket for Trinamool. Her daughters Riya and Raima Sen campaigned for the mother and Moon Moon won the elections defeating CPI (M) candidate ABasudeb which was not expected. Now you know why they say politics is a game of the unpredictable.
Bombay born actor Naghma who became a superstar down South and later Bhojpuri cinema was contesting from Meerut for Congress. It was a wrong constituency for the actor and the results was a foregone conclusion. Naghma lost to Rajendra Agarwal from BJP with a margin of 4.9L. Theatre and film actor Paresh Rawal had earlier campaigned for Narendra Modi in Gujarat and he was a super hit, this is mainly because Rawal knows to communicate and connect with his audience on stage and on the big screen. This time Paresh Rawal was in the driver’s seat speeding from Ahmedabad East for naturally BJP and defeated old player Patel Himmat Singh Prahlad Singh of Congress with a margin of 3.3L which is great except Rawal’s stage and films will have to take a back seat for a while.
Director Prakash Jha is a political animal and this is reflected in his films. Long ago when he first time filed his application to contest elections people were surprised how rich he was! While Jha continued to revel in his films on the political terrain be it ‘Gangajal’/ ‘Apharan’/ ‘Rajneeti’ or ‘Aarakshan’ Jha also nursed ambitions for a political career. Representing JDU Jha lost to BJP’s Dr Sanjay Jaiswal with a margin of 1, 10,254 which is the worst faring Jha’s any film has witnessed at the box-office.
Priyanka Dutt, daughter of actor and MP Sunil Dutt was surprising. The young MP has not had a break ever since she delivered her baby in 2009 and was on the street doing road shows coming home only to feed her baby. Dutt has the grace to accept her defeat, says ‘People have voted decisively, I congratulate Poonam and her party and thank my supporters for traveling with me this far.’
Raj Babbar has been a serious politician and given his constituency/ Ghaziabad more time and attention than his career as an actor. He has also been a Congress loyalist. In the wake of an overwhelming BJP wave Babbar had probably seen the marking on the wall except that he did not expect to have such a poor defeat and losing to BJP’s VKSingh who scored over Babbar with a margin of 5,67,260 L.
Rakhi Sawant was thoroughly entertaining as the independent candidate fighting from Mumbai North West. From the choice of Hari Mirchi symbol, her Air Hostess costume and the speeches she was full on entertainment. Her relatives and friends who supported her in the campaign were as entertaining and Rakhi Sawant was brazen enough to say on television that the entire Bachchan pariwar has voted for her. Despite her tall claims Rakhi lost to GCKirtikar of Shiv Sena by an impressive margin of 4,62,814 votes. Last heard Rakhi is looking to auction her Hari Mirch costume. Is anybody interested?
Ramya was introduced to Hindi films by three top banners Subhash Ghai in ‘Khalnayak’, Yash Chopra in ‘Parampara’ and Mahesh Bhatt in ‘Chahat’ but Ramya was unable to carve a niche for herself in Bollywood. She returned to South and post marriage tried her luck in politics. This election she fought on a Congress ticket from Mandya and lost to CS Puttaraju JD (S). I think this will be the end of Ramya’s political aspirations.
Ravi Kissan also a Bhojpuri actor and fighting from Jaunpur, UP represented Congress and lost to Krishna Pratap of BJP by a margin of 13.2lakh. Knowing Kissan and his king size ego losing to BJP would not hurt him as much as losing to another Bhojpuri actor Manoj Tiwari. Hota hai, politics aur pyaar mein sab kuch hota hain!
Shatrughan Sinha is known as the Bihari Babu and has been a cabinet minister in his own steam which is no minor achievement. He is synonymous with Patna and predictably defeated Congress candidate Kunal Singh with a margin of 2.7 L. Smriti Irani was easily the most promising player of the 2014 elections. That she was asked to contest from Amethi against Rahul Gandhi speaks about Narendra Modi’s confidence in her. Irani made fiery speeches both in the assembly and in her road shows. The Gandhis knew she was a threat and even though Rahul defeated her by just 1lac votes the fact remains that she gave the dynasty a run for their money!
Vinod Khanna has now come to be identified with Gurdaspur, it is the land of Dev Anand and many other actors but only Vinod Khanna returned to his land to work for the people. Good times are ahead for Khanna as his film Koylaanchal with Sunil Shetty receives rave reviews and he defeats Pratap S Bajwa of Congress with a margin of 1, 41 L. The actors made the polling booth so much more attractive and interesting, don’t you agree?