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Actors say parties offered them money
March 11, 2004 17:10 IST
As the general election nears, the Congress, Bharatiya Janata Party and many other political outfits have paraded a galaxy of stars that they say subscribe to their ideologies and would campaign for them.
So on the one hand you have an Asrani, Celina Jaitley, Namrata Shirodkar, Zeenat Aman and Sharad Kapoor professing their admiration for the Congress dynasty, and on the other, Yukta Mookhey, Hema Malini, Sudha Chandran, Suresh Oberoi, Jeetendra, Poonam Dhillion, etc rooting for the 'Lotus'.
Would you vote for a film star politician?
But what really is it that makes them hit the election trail?
According to Mid Day, it is mammon.
The Mumbai tabloid spoke to a cross-section of movie stars and TV personalities who said political parties approached them with big bucks.
Muscleman Sunil Shetty told the tabloid he had been offered Rs 10 lakh per day through his secretary. "Parties who pay you money think they can make you jump to their tune," he said.
Actor Ashutosh Rana said he had been approached more than once. "I have been offered astronomical sum from several national and regional parties to canvass for them," he said.
"There is an ongoing storm and politicians have suddenly discovered newfound love for celebrities. Actors are getting more offers from political parties than films," he added.
Also in demand are TV stars. Shweta Kwatra, star of soap Kahani Ghar Ghar Kii and Kkusum, told the paper that her rate card was more than one lakh a day. "The parties have approached me directly to campaign."
Often the payment is made in cash. "This is to siphon off the black money and can come from either parties directly or from industrialists; also this is one way to evade EC scrutiny," a star wishing anonymity told the tabloid.
Manoj Bajpai said, "I have been approached but I have always refused in the first stage of negotiation itself.
"It is unfortunate that sundry stars with no knowledge of ground realities have chosen to enter the political fray."