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Do Film Stars Make For Good Politicians?

Film stars are in great demand during election time.  It is a star parade in West Bengal; some are fighting elections, some canvassing for the TMC or the BJP.  Ditto: Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Stars are magnets, drawing the huge crowds. But once elected, are they able to serve their constituencies?  A simple analysis shows that 90% of the reel stars fail to play the role of political leaders in the real world. Amitabh Bachchan, Govinda, Rajesh Khanna and Dharmendra won elections with convincing margins but eventually retreated after failing to make an impact. However, there are a few who successfully occupied centre stage: MGR and Jayalalithaa in Tamil Nadu; and NTR in Andhra Pradesh had a splendid journey to the top. Vinod Khanna is remembered for being the only Bollywood star to win Lok Sabha polls four times – he won from Gurdaspur in Punjab on the BJP ticket; he also served as a minister. Among the living legends, Dream Girl Hema Malini who was first nominated to the Rajya Sabha won both 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha polls. So did singer Babul Supriyo. Raj Babbar has been active since 1989, having changed three parties. He won the Lok Sabha seat thrice and was also once nominated for the Rajya Sabha. Backed by the Samajwadi Party, Jaya Bachchan is also making her presence felt at the Upper House. Bihari babu Shatrughan Sinha, who won two terms and became a minister, is acknowledged for his fiery debate. Jaya Prada, Khushbu, Manoj Tiwari and Ravi Kishan continue to hog the limelight. In the south, Rajinikanth’s much anticipated political debut didn’t materialise – but Kamal Haasan has taken the plunge.