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Congress wants 'star-power' for Lok Sabha polls

February 06, 2009 23:13 IST

With an eye on Lok Sabha polls, the Congress in Maharashtra is trying to rope in celebrities like superstar Shah Rukh Khan [Images], former cricket captain Dilip Vengsarkar and Bhojpuri actor Ravi Kisen to boost its electoral fortunes.
Mumbai [Images] city unit chief Kripashankar Singh said he had met Vengsarkar and Shah Rukh and requested them to associate with the Congress. "When I heard that Vengsarkar had also been approached by the Shiv Sena and was all set to contest the elections on that party's ticket, I called him up. He told me that he had not made up his mind to join politics. Even Shah Rukh has not made any commitment," Kripashankar told media-persons in Mumbai on Friday.

Singh said Shah Rukh may not be an active member of Congress but belonged to the ideology of the party.
He also informed that supporters of actor-turned-MP Raj Babbar met him on Thursday and sought a ticket from the megapolis. "Deciding on the seat which a particular candidate will contest is outside the jurisdiction of Mumbai Congress. I will forward the request of Babbar's supporters to my party high command," Singh said. Singh said Babbar did not make any request for a specific constituency or state to contest during his meeting with the latter.

On the demand to field Bhojpuri actor  Ravi Kisen on a Congress ticket, Singh said: "Ravi originally hails from Jaunpur in Uttar Pradesh [Images] and lives in Mumbai. He told me that he was busy with his film commitments."
On whether Congress will retain actor Govinda for the North Mumbai seat, Singh said the party high command will take the decision at an appropriate time.
Singh also lashed out at Bharatiya Janata Party leader Ram Naik for carrying out a sustained campaign against Govinda [Images]. "Naik was so unsettled by the defeat he tasted at the hands of Govinda, that he is running a systematic campaign against the actor," he said.
"Govinda is busy with his film commitments, but he has done his best to fulfil all the promises he made to the
electorates. One can't live up to everybody's expectations," Singh said.
The Congress is firm on contesting 27 seats leaving 21 to the Nationalist Congress Party out of the 48 Lok Sabha seats in Maharshtra. "I don't think there will be any bargain on this count," Singh said.

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