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Bollywood and politics: stars who shine on the big screen often fail in politics

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In 1984, he took a hiatus from the movies to join politics to support his longtime friend Rajiv Gandhi.

By Reya Mehrotra

There is something about Bollywood and politics. The latter attracts the biggest names in the film industry, the most recent being Mithun Chakraborty who joined the BJP. But the stars who shine on the big screen often fail in politics. Here are a few who have dabbled in politics but failed.

Urmila matondkar
The actor joined Congress in March 2019 and contested Lok Sabha’s election from the northern Mumbai headquarters, but to no avail. Later, in September of the same year, just five months after joining the party, she resigned, citing petty politics as the reason. Now the actor says she wants to focus on good scripts and her acting career, and is experimenting with web shows. She joined the Shiv Sena in 2020.

Amitabh Bachchan
Bollywood’s biggest star has also had his share of failures in politics. In 1984, he took a hiatus from the movies to join politics to support his longtime friend Rajiv Gandhi. He contested the 8th Lok Sabha from the seat of Allahabads and also won by a large margin. However, his political career was short-lived as he resigned after three years, after which he was embroiled in the Bofors scandal. He was subsequently found not guilty. He started supporting the Samajwadi Party for his longtime friend Amar Singh, but did not join it.

Shatrughan Sinha
He was a member of Lok Sabha from 2009 to 2014 and a member of Rajya Sabha from 1996 to 2008 for two terms. In the Vajpayee government, he served as Minister of Health and Family Welfare and Navigation, then between 2014 and 2019, a member of the Standing Committee and Advisory Committee of the Department of External Affairs and Indian Affairs of overseas. When he failed to win a seat after the 2019 BJP elections, he joined Congress.

Rekha
Known for her versatility and grace, actor Rekha has won numerous awards for her outstanding performances in films like Umrao Jaan and Khubsoorat, and has been part of critically and commercially acclaimed films like Ijaazat, Silsila, Khoon Bhari. Maang, etc. Due to her decades of contribution to cinema, she was made a member of Rajya Sabha in 2012 and still serves as a member of it. However, in all these years she had one of the lowest turnouts in Rajya Sabha and didn’t ask many questions in the very few sessions she attended.

Sunny Deol
The Bollywood star turned to politics after a successful run for the big screen for years. He is currently a member of parliament for Gurdaspur constituency in Punjab. He was often the subject of controversy during his political career. In February 2020, at a rally in Pathankot, he said, I don’t believe in making controversial remarks, but everyone knows that no one is better than me when it comes to it’s about beating someone. He was also criticized when he hired a representative in Gurdaspur to attend meetings and follow important issues in his absence. He was named for his short participation in the 17th Lok Sabha.

Javed Jaffrey
The actor, who has several films and shows to his name, joined the Aam Aadmi (AAP) party in 2014. He competed in the 2014 general election in the Lucknow constituency, but finished fifth. He lost to Rajnath Singh after securing 41,429 votes. He was not very active in politics thereafter. In 2014, he said he entered politics to address shortcomings in the country’s system.

Mahesh manjrekar
Mahesh Manjrekar has had a successful career in Bollywood as an actor and director. He is known to direct films like Astitva, Vaastav and Viruddh. In 2014, he joined politics by entering the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), led by Raj Thackeray. He contested the 2014 elections in the Mumbai North West constituency. However, he lost to Shiv Senas Gajanan Kirtikar. He continued his stint in films, the latest being Mumbai Saga.

Shekhar suman
The actor has made a success of his career in film and television. In fact, he’s won numerous accolades for his TV show Movers & Shakers. He fought the 2009 election of Lok Sabha from Patna Sahib to Congress, but lost to Shatrughan Sinha who was running for the BJP. Later in 2012, he strictly refused the policy.

Gul Panag
Actor Gul Panag wears many hats. She is a certified pilot, acclaimed actress, model, former beauty queen, half marathon runner, biker and social activist. In 2014, she was Chandigarh’s candidate for the AAP for the general election. However, she secured the third position and lost to Kirron Kher. His father HS Panag, a retired Indian Army Lieutenant General, also joined the AAP in 2014 after retiring from the armed forces, but later resigned.

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