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These 15 celebs want YOUR vote

Last updated on: March 14, 2014 11:19 IST

These 15 celebs want YOUR vote

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The Rediff Newsdesk

Here's a look at netas who glam up India's political brigade. 

It’s probably the biggest show India has ever seen.

Starring in it, among others, is a 'Sandalwood Queen', a 'Disco King', magician and a Sikkimese sniper.

Welcome to Lok Sabha Elections 2014.

Rediff.com takes a look at star netas, some newbies, a few veterans, adding up to the glam quotient of Indian politics.

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Image: (Clockwise from left) Actress-cum-MP Divya Spandana, popularly know as Ramya, actress Gul Panag, footballer Baichung Bhutia and Jaya Prada


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Gul Panag

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Party:  Aam Aadmi Party

Battleground: Chandigarh

Opponent: Pawan Kumar Bansal (Congress)

Claim to fame: Dazzling all with her smile, Gul won the Miss India title in 1999 and went on to participate in the Miss Universe pageant. She tried her hand at acting and appeared in films like Dor, Manorama Six Feet Under, to mention a few. The 35-year-old has been active in the social cause circuit campaigning against female foeticide. 

Quote unquote: 'There is a time in every country's history when staying on the sidelines is no longer an option. We are on the cusp of transformational change in the country that is being heralded by AAP and Arvind Kejriwal'.

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Image: Gul Panag joined the AAP earlier this week
Photographs: Reuters

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Divya Spandana (Ramya)

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Party: Congress

Battleground: Mandya, Karnataka

Opponent: Likely to be Actor Upendra (The BJP is still in talks with him.)

Claim to fame: Dubbed as the ‘Golden Girl of Kannada cinema’ and ‘Sandalwood Queen’, Ramya is a leading Kannada actor. She won a Filmfare Award for her roles in Thananam Thananam (2006) and Sanju Weds Geetha (2011).

Politics: At 30, she is India’s youngest woman MP. In the by-elections held last year, the southern beauty won with an impressive margin for 50,000 votes defeating Janata Dal-Secular’s C Putturaju.

Ramya became only the second Congress candidate after veteran actor-politician Ambareesh to win the Lok Sabha seat in Mandya, traditionally a bastion for the JD-S because of the dominant Vokkaliga community in the area.

Quote unquote: 'Besides the development work, I do believe my star power has and will add to votes,' Ramya told NDTV.  

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Image: Ramya is India's youngest MP


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Moon Moon Sen

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Party: Trinamool Congress

Battleground: Bankura, West Bengal

Opponent:  Basudeb Acharia (Communist Party of India-Marxist)

Claim to fame:
Daughter of legendary Bengali actor Suchitra Sen, Moon Moon Sen was considered a sex symbol of her times. She has appeared in 60 films and 40 television series. Some of her famous appearances were in suspense thriller 100 Days, Sheesha and Telugu film Sirivennela.

Quote unquote: 'It's very difficult to look glamorous in summer but I'll see what I can do. There's no harm in that. I have thrown away all my gamchhas (a handspun wash cloth used like a towel to dry off after a bath in rural India). I've to buy some new ones,' Moon Moon Sen spoke to CNN-IBN about her campaign plans.

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Image: Moon Moon Sen (left) with her daughter Raima Sen
Photographs: Wikimedia Commons

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Mahesh Manjrekar

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Party: Maharashtra Navirman Sena

Battleground: Mumbai northwest

Opponents: Gurudas Kamat (Congress), Mayank Gandhi (AAP), Gajanan Kirtikar (Shiv Sena). 

Claim to fame: A filmmaker, some of Manjrekar’s best-known works are Vaastav, Kante and Marathi film Astitva, which won him the national award. As an actor, he first gained acclaim for his performance in Kaante. He also starred in the Oscar-winning film Slumdog Millionaire

Quote Unquote: “This is the right time to plunge into politics. But I promise to retire when I am 60, as I want more youths to come (into politics).”

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Image: Mahesh Manjrekar


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Baichung Bhutia

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Party: Trinamool Congress 

Battleground: Darjeeling, West Bengal

Opponent: Likely to face Bappi Lahiri or Rajiv Pratap Rudy (BJP)

Claim to fame: Former skipper of the national football team, the Sikkim-based Bhutia is the country’s most capped player. In 1999, he became the first Indian footballer to sign a contract with a European club -- Bury. He also won the television dance reality show Jhalak Dikhlaa Jaa in 2009.   

Quote unquote: "The enormity of the work I have to do has sunk in and I have to get cracking straightaway," Bhutia told IANS.

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Image: Former India soccer team captain Baichung Bhutia speaks during a news conference in New Delhi
Photographs: Parivartan Sharma/Reuters

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Mohammad Kaif

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Party: Congress

Battleground: Phuphur, Uttar Pradesh

Opponent: Dharmraj Patel (Samajwadi Party), Kapil Muni Karwariya (Bahujan Samaj Party)

Claim to fame: Kaif, was part of the India's 2003 World Cup runner-up team, and famously helped India win the Natwest series against England in 2002. He has 624 runs in 13 Tests to go along with his 2,753 runs in 125 ODIs. He led India to its first U-19 World Cup trophy in 2000. As far as domestic cricket goes, he was a key player in UP’s successful Ranji Trophy campaign in 2005-2006.

Quote unquote: “You can’t keep away from politics. I think it’s the right time now.”

Read: Kaif's exclusive interview to Rediff.com here

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Image: Cricketer Mohammad Kaif
Photographs: Arko Datta/Reuters

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Nagma

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Party: Congress

Battleground: Meerut, Uttar Pradesh

Opponent: Rajanth Singh (BJP, undecided), Dr Himanshu Singh (AAP)

Claim to fame: A Bollywood star of the 1990s, she made her debut opposite Salman Khan in Baaghi. She had a more successful stint in Tamil and Telugu films.

Quote Unquote. “My mom is Muslim and my dad is Hindu. We were brought up to respect all religions. Communal riots pained me. I wanted to do something. So I joined politics.”

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Image: Actor-turned-politician Nagma


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Ravi Kishen

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Party: Congress

Battleground: Jaunpur, Uttar Pradesh

Opponent: Dr Kailash Prakash Yadav (AAP)

Claim to fame: This Bhojpuri superstar has have acted in over 50 Bhojpuri and 50 Bollywood films. Pandit Ji Batai Na Biyah Kab Hoi, Raavan, Ganga and Banke Bihari MLA are among his popular films.

Quote unquote: "My cinema will become my strength however I will refrain from ‘film dailoguebaazi’ during my campaign… I am confident that my fans will turn into my voters now. I’m not a mere crowd-puller.”

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Image: Bhojupuri actor Ravi Kishen


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Bappi Lahiri

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Party: BJP

Battleground: Likely to be fielded from Darjeeling

Opponent: Baichung Bhutia (TMC)

Claim to fame: He has been dubbed as the ‘Disco King’ of Bollywood. The veteran composer and singer popularised disco music in the 1980s and 1990s. His soundtracks were behind some of the most iconic Bollywood numbers -- Disco Dancer, Jimmy Jimmy, Pagh Ghungroo Bandh Mera Nache Te.

Bappi is evergreen; his recent hits Oo La La, Oo La La (Dirty Picture), Chinta ta Chita Chita (Rowdy Rathod) are proof enough.  

Bappi da, as he is popularly called by his fans, entered the Guinness Books for recording 180 songs for 33 films in the year 1986, which remains unbeatable.

The ‘King of Bling’, his gold accessories, have become synonymous with Brand Bappi.

He joined the Congress in 2009, but has now switched sides to the BJP. 

Quote unquote: “I am a seasoned politician who knows what politics can do if practiced in a proper way. I have not consulted any astrologer, but I can predict that Bappi Lahiri will always succeed.”

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Image: Music composer Bappi Lahiri
Photographs: Hitesh Harisinghani/Rediff.com

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P C Sorcar (Junior)

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Party: BJP

Battleground: Barasat, West Bengal

Opponents: Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar (TMC), Mortaza Hossain (Forward Bloc)

Claim to fame: The son of PC Sorcar (Sr), Sorcar (Jr) is arguably the most renowned magician in the Indian sub-continent. A doctorate in philosophy, his Water of India show is extremely popular.

Quote unquote:  “Here I am, a BJP candidate, with a Muslim's blood running through my veins. This is simply magical,” Sorcar told Rediff.comRead the full interview here

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Image: Magician P C Sorcar Junior performs during a magic show in Kolkata
Photographs: Jayanta Shaw/Reuters

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Manoj Tiwari

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Party: BJP

Battleground: Buxar, Bihar

Opponents: Jagtanand Singh (Rashtriya Janata Dal)

Claim to fame: He is one of the star performers (singer and actor) in Bhojpuri films. In 2005, BBC reported that Tiwari was able to charge $90,000 (about Rs 56 lakh) per film. Last year, he sang the popular number Jiya Ho Bihar Ke Lala, Jiya Tu Haazar Sala in Anurag Kashyap's Gangs of Wasseypur.

Politics: In 2009, Tiwari had contested from Gorakhpur parliamentary constituency in Uttar Pradesh on the Samajwadi Party ticket but lost to BJP's Yogi Adityanath.   

Quote unquote: "My decision to join the BJP is largely influenced by Modi's persona."

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Image: Manoj Tiwari


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Babul Supriyo

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Party: BJP

Battleground: Asansol, West Bengal

Opponents: Bangsha Gopal Choudhury (CPI-M), Dola Sen (TMC)

Claim to fame: A Bollywood playback singer Supriyo’s song Dil ne dil ko pukara (Kaho Naa Pyar Hai) catapulted him to the popularity charts. His other memorable hits are Hum Tum, Chanda Chamke. In Bengal, he became a household name when he appeared as a judge on Bengali TV reality show Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Lil Champs.

Quote unquote: “I like taking up challenges, and at the same time it's an opportunity to work for the people who have made me what I am today. I can now repay my admirers.”

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Image: Singer Babul Supriyo
Photographs: Tim Shaffer/Reuters

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Jaya Prada

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Party: Rashtriya Lok Dal

Battleground: Bijnor, Uttar Pradesh

Opponents: Gaurav Chauhan (AAP), Shahnawaz Rana (SP)

Claim to fame: A yesteryear's beauty, Jaya Prada was extremely popular in the 1980s and 1990s. She was once described by Satyajit Ray as the most beautiful actress in India.

She received great acclaim for her performance is Bollywood film Sargam. Jaya has also dabbled in Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, Bengali and Marathi films.   

Politics: Jaya first ventured into politics in 1994, when she joined the Telugu Desam Party. She switched over to the Samajwadi Party and won the 2004 polls from Rampur, Uttar Pradesh with a massive margin of 85,000 votes. 

Quote unquote: "During my hour of crisis, he (Amar Singh) was there with me. He is my political mentor. I will never leave his side. I am not an opportunist."

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Image: Jaya Prada recently joined the RLD
Photographs: Tim Shaffer/Reuters

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Chiranjeevi

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Party: Congress

Battleground: Undecided

Claim to fame: A Telugu mega star, Chiranjeevi was named ‘bigger than Amitabh Bachchan’ by popular magazines Filmfare and India Today. In a film career spanning more than 30 years, Chiranjeevi has starred in 149 feature films.

In 1987, he became the first south Indian actor to be invited to attend the 59th Academy Awards ceremony. For his contribution to cinema, he was honoured the Padma Bhushan.   

Politics: In 2008, he forayed into politics and launched the Praja Rajyam Party. A year later, he was elected as an MLA from Tirupati. It was in 2011 that his party merged with the Congress.

Quote Unquote: “Who called me into politics? It was you people. What do you want? It should be rule by the people for the people," he said during the launch of his Praja Rajyam Party, which he later merged with the Congress.

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Image: Chiranjeevi
Photographs: Tim Shaffer/Reuters

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Navjot Singh Sidhu

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Party: BJP

Battleground: Amritsar, may shift to Kurukshetra, Haryana  

Opponents: Naveen Jindal (Congress)

Claim to fame: His cricketing career has been volatile, though he earned the nickname ‘Sixer Sidhu’ for his explosive batting. He has the gift of the gab and a vibrant personality, traits that worked for him as he took to cricket commentary and television talk shows.

Quote Unquote: "Nobody travels on the road to success without a puncture or two."

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Image: Former Indian cricketer and lawmaker Navjot Singh Sidhu
Photographs: Ajay Verma/Reuters

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