From Kangana Ranaut to Hema Malini: New parliament to have many celebrity faces

New Delhi: With voters favouring many celebrity faces -- trusted and new -- this election season, eyes will be on the performance of first-time MPs like Kangana Ranaut and Arun Govil as they take their place in the 18th Lok Sabha along with returning star-politicians Hema Malini and Manoj Tiwari.

The country went to the polls from April 19 to June 1 in seven phases to elect the 543 members in the lower house of the Parliament and many from the showbiz were in the fray.

Ranaut, a popular face from Bollywood and a long-time supporter of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, won her first ever election as she was elected from Mandi in Himachal Pradesh, her home state. She defeated Vikramaditya Singh, the son of six-time chief minister Virbhadra Singh and state Congress chief Pratibha Singh.
The actor, who has often found herself at the centre of controversies and always vocal about her opinions, had spoken about devoting her life to public service post her win. There is a lot of curiosity about Ranaut's tenure as an MP.
Not just Ranaut, "Ramayan" star Govil was another celebrity face fielded by the BJP. He emerged victorious in the Meerut seat in Uttar Pradesh in a close battle with Samajwadi Party's Sunita Yadav. The winning margin was just 10,585 votes and for a time it looked like Govil would lose but his image of lord Ram from the classic TV serial seems to have worked in his favour.
Hema Malini, another popular face from Hindi cinema, was elected for a straight third term in Lok Sabha from Mathura (Uttar Pradesh) against her nearest rival, Mukesh Dhangar of the Congress.
Malini's third win shows the sway the actor-politician and a self-confessed Krishna devotee has on the electoral public in the temple town of Mathura, regarded as the birthplace of the Hindu god.
Tiwari, a former Bhojpuri cinema star-singer and BJP's candidate from North East Delhi, bested Congress rival Kanhaiya Kumar, a popular youth leader.
This is also Tiwari's third win in a row from the seat. He was the only sitting MP from Delhi retained by the BJP for the 18th Lok Sabha polls.
Ravi Kishan, another popular Bhojpuri cinema star and the BJP contender from Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh, was elected for a second consecutive term. He defeated Kajal Nishad from the Samajwadi Party to retain his constituency.
Actor-turned-politician Suresh Gopi, another BJP candidate, finally made inroads for the party in Kerala's Thrissur constituency. Gopi defeated VS Sunilkumar of the Communist Party of India to claim the Lok Sabha seat in the state.
Veteran actor Shatrughan Sinha, who was fielded as the Trinamool Congress candidate from West Bengal's Asansol, defeated his nearest rival, BJP's S S Ahluwalia. Sinha, who has had political stints under the BJP and Congress, joined the TMC in 2022 to contest in the by-election for the Asansol Lok Sabha constituency.
Former actor and BJP MP Smriti Irani lost to Kishorilal Sharma of Congress in the Amethi constituency of Uttar Pradesh.
Actor-BJP politician Dinesh Lal Yadav, better known by his stage name Nirahua, was also bested by Samajwadi Party candidate Dharmendra Yadav in Uttar Pradesh's Azamgarh seat.
Actor and Janasena Party chief Pawan Kalyan won the Pithapuram Assembly seat in Andhra Pradesh defeating his YSR Congress Party rival Vanga Geetha.
Bengali actor-turned-politician June Maliah of the TMC won from Medinipur in West Bengal by defeating Agnimitra Paul of the BJP in a tough fight. In 2021, Maliah was elected as Member of West Bengal Legislative Assembly from Medinipur.
In West Bengal's Birbhum, TMC's three-term MP and actor Satabdi Roy secured a thumping victory over BJP's Debtanu Bhattacharya.
In the state's Hooghly and Ghatal constituencies, the battle was between TMC and BJP's celebrity faces. But TMC prevailed in both.
Actor and TMC candidate Rachna Banerjee won from Hooghly against actor Locket Chatterjee of BJP. This will be Banerjee's first term as a politician.
Dev Adhikary of TMC bested fellow actor and BJP's Hiran Chatterjee to hold on to his constituency Ghatal. It will be his third term.
Film personalities and Indian politics have had a close association for decades with popular faces from Hindi cinema such as Nargis, Sunil Dutt, Rajesh Khanna, Vinod Khanna and briefly even Amitabh Bachchan taking the political plunge.
Star power has yielded rich results in the South as well by producing mass leaders who started out as actors like N T Rama Rao, M G Ramachandran and J Jayalalithaa to name a few.
In the current lot, Kamal Haasan, Vijay, Prakash Raj, Bhagwant Mann, Paresh Rawal, Urmila Matondkar, and Govinda are among the popular faces active in politics today.
( Source : PTI )
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