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From Spotlight to Poll Fight, Actresses Up Their Game for Lok Sabha Elections 2019

From Spotlight to Poll Fight, Actresses Up Their Game for Lok Sabha Elections 2019

Joining veterans like Smriti Irani and Hema Malini are newcomers like Urmila Matondkar and Nusrat Jahan who are making their political debut this year.

There are some who have been in politics for years now, and there are others who have decided to take the plunge this year to test their popularity on the political turf. Veterans like Hema Malini and Jaya Prada are being joined by a bunch of newcomers this year, who are making their political debut to contest the Lok Sabha Elections 2019. Urmila Matondkar in Maharashtra, Nusrat Jahan in West Bengal are among actresses who have filed their candidature for the elections this year.

Here are the female actors who are starring in the biggest game of thrones in India this year, going full throttle against seasoned politicians to woo fans and gain votes for their respective political parties.

Urmila's joining elections was one of the major highlights this season. About a month ago, the actress declared she is joining Congress and contesting from Mumbai north. The star of hit Hindi films like Rangeela, Daud and Judaai said that she isn't approaching politics as a star and would rather be known as people's representative. "I am not approaching this whole thing as a star with my star image. I am trying to get to grassroot and connect to people," said Urmila, who has been channeling her Marathi mulagi image to appeal to people in her constituency.

Actress Poonam Sinha, who famously starred as Mughal emperor Akbar's mother in Jodhaa Akbar, is being fielded by Samajwadi Party (SP), which entered in an alliance with Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) for the Lok Sabha elections in Uttar Pradesh. The wife of actor-turned-politician Shatrugan Sinha will be contesting against Union Minister Rajnath Singh from the Lucknow parliamentary constituency on a Samajwadi Party (SP) ticket.

BJP candidate Jaya Prada is seeking a third term from the seat of Rampur, a minority-dominated Lok Sabha constituency in western Uttar Pradesh. The Bollywood actress-turned-politician had created history in 2004 by winning the Rampur seat for the first time for SP, defeating the sitting Congress MP Begum Noor Bano by 85,000 votes.

While Jaya Prada switched sides to join the saffron party only last month, her contemporary Hema Malini's career as a politician took off when she secured a victory in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections from UP’s Mathura seat on a BJP ticket. Hema is seeking a second term in Mathura on a BJP ticket. The 70-year-old kicked off her campaign on the March 31 in style amid the golden harvests of Mathura farms. She was soon subject to trolling on the internet for posing for photos holding hay bale and sickle. Hema Malini faces RLD's Kunwar Narendra Singh in Mathura, polling for which was held in the second phase of Lok Sabha elections.

Bengali actress and model Nusrat Jahan is contesting elections for the first time this year. The star of films like Shotru and Khoka 420 is a Trinamool Congress candidate contesting from Basirhat, which is widely expected to be a tough seat. Basirhat, which is close to the Bangladesh border, had been a CPM-stronghold for eight terms, till the TMC wrested it in 2009.

Mamata Banerjee has pitched yet another filmi face from the Jadavpur constituency. She dropped sitting MP Sugata Bose, a Harvard professor who reportedly became unpopular after some of his critical statements about the politicisation of educational institutions, to bring in actress Mimi Chakraborty, another political debutante with a substantial fan following.

Nusrat and Mimi are following in the footsteps of Bengali actress Moon Moon Sen, who joined Trinamool Congress in March 2014. She won from the Bankura Lok Sabha seat in 2014 by defeating CPM veteran Basudev Acharya. She has been transferred to Asansol this year, where the BJP’s sitting MP is singer Babul Supriyo. The reason behind shifting Moon Moon was reportedly the discontentment among Bankura voters who reportedly resented her non-performance.

Locket Chatterjee is another Bengali actress who is trying her luck at the elections for the second time. She is BJP's Lok Sabha candidate from Hooghly this season, after contesting from Birbhum in the 2016 assembly elections. The BJP Mahila Morcha president recently accused TMC goons of vandalising her rented house in Hooghly. Starting her career with television about two decades ago, Locket went on to star in movies like Agni and Fighter.

Television actress Smriti Irani joined BJP in 2003. The Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi star contested the 2014 general elections against Rahul Gandhi in Amethi constituency of Uttar Pradesh, but was defeated by a margin of over one lakh votes. BJP has fielded Irani against the Congress president in Amethi once again. The current Textiles Minister recently courted controversy when she revealed that she is not a graduate in her poll affidavit. Irani undertook her exams for Bachelor of Commerce (B.Com) first year from Delhi University's School of Open Learning, but "did not complete the three-year degree course".

It remains to be seen if the onscreen popularity of these actresses translate into votes in their favour at the elections this year.

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