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Giant-Slayers: 12 Times Actors Dethroned Seasoned Politicians in Lok Sabha Battles

Among the few politicians who bucked this trend was BJP stalwart LK Advani who defeated superstar Rajesh Khanna in 1991 from New Delhi constituency

Akash Gulankar | News18.com

Updated:March 29, 2019, 11:44 PM IST
Giant-Slayers: 12 Times Actors Dethroned Seasoned Politicians in Lok Sabha Battles
Among the few politicians who bucked this trend was BJP stalwart LK Advani who defeated superstar Rajesh Khanna in 1991 from New Delhi constituency

New Delhi: The updated list of actors-turned-politicians has a new entrant in Urmila Matondkar who has been fielded by the Congress from Mumbai North constituency.

Matondkar has been pitted against sitting BJP MP Gopal Chinnayya Shetty, a strongman in the region, who had won the 2014 elections with a whopping margin of 4,46,582 votes. Shetty had defeated Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam who will be now fighting from the Mumbai North West constituency.

If Matondkar does defeat Shetty when general election results are declared on May 23, she will join a long list of actors fielded by political parties to bring down seasoned rivals.

For the Congress, Amitabh Bachchan, Vyjayantimala and Sunil Dutt were the first three such trump cards during the 1984 elections held after Indira Gandhi’s assassination. Bachchan contested from Allahabad constituency against Lok Dal veteran Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna. NT Rama Rao, then a rising star in Andhra Pradesh politics, had invited Bahuguna to contest from a safe seat in southern states, but confident of winning Allahabad, Bahuguna turned down the offer.

Bahuguna was a two-time chief minister of Uttar Pradesh. In 1971, he was also the state minister for communication in the Union Cabinet. The defeat marked the end of Bahuguna’s political career as he never fought elections thereafter. He passed away in the US in 1989.

Down south, the 1984 election saw then Bollywood superstar Vyjayantimala defeat Janata Party’s Era Sezhiyan in Madras South constituency which the latter held from 1962 to 1977. Vyjayantimala won with 7.2% (48,017) votes in that election.

The 1984 elections also saw Sunil Dutt being fielded by the Congress in Bombay North West against well-renowned lawyer and sitting MP Ram Jethmalani. Dutt ousted Jethmalani, who was fighting as an Independent candidate, with a huge margin of 1,54,640 votes (30.36%). Soon after losing to Dutt, he joined the BJP. Jethmalani had won the Bombay North West constituency in the 1980 elections on a Janata Party ticket.

He later became a Rajya Sabha member and held the Ministry of Law & Justice in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government. Dutt continued his political career and went on to become MP for five terms.

The giant-slayer to emerge on the political scene was Vinod Khanna who became MP from Punjab’s Gurdaspur in 1998. He fought against Sukhbans Kaur, who was the incumbent Congress MP at the time. Khanna, a BJP candidate, won with a margin of 1,06,833 votes (15%) against Kaur, who was the only woman MP in the Lok Sabha for five consecutive times. She represented Gurdaspur in 1980, 1984, 1989, 1991 and 1996. She was also a state minister in the Ministry of Tourism from 1992 to 1996. She was later nominated to the Rajya Sabha in 2005.

1999 was the year of Bollywood actor Raj Babbar and Kannada superstar Shashi Kumar, who contested on tickets of Samajwadi Party (SP) and Janata Dal-United (JD-U), respectively. Babbar defeated Bhagwan Shankar Rawat from Agra constituency with a margin of 1,12,982 votes (17.6%). Rawat was a three-time MP from Agra before being ousted by Babbar.

Sitting Chitradurga MP in Karnataka, CP Mudalgiriyappa, lost his seat to Shashi Kumar that year. Mudalgriyappa, three-time MP from the Congress, lost by a margin of 11,178 votes (1.3%).

The first election of the new millennium in 2004 saw Congress candidate Govinda snatch the Mumbai North constituency from Ram Naik, who had held the seat for five consecutive terms as a BJP candidate. Naik is currently serving as the Governor of Uttar Pradesh. He had also held the Ministry of Petroleum & Gas in the Vajpayee government.

That same election, Jayaprada ousted an established two-time MP, Begum Noor Bano, in UP’s Rampur. Bano had been active in politics since 1992 and had also been a member of various parliamentary committees. Jayaprada was fielded by Samajwadi Party at the time and was even helped by SP leader to win the election. Ironically, she will fight Khan in the upcoming election as BJP candidate.

In West Bengal, actresses Sandhya Roy and Moon Moon Sen contributed to the Trinamool Congress sweep in the 2014 elections, winning Medinipur and Bankura constituencies, respectively. Roy defeated well-known Communist leader and three-time CPI MP Prabodh Panda by a huge margin.

Nine-time MP Basudeb Acharia of the CPM lost to Moon Moon Sen by a margin of 98,506 votes (8%).

The election which propelled Narendra Modi to power also saw Hema Malini, who fought on a BJP ticket, defeat Jayant Choudhary from Mathura. Grandson of the former prime minister Charan Singh, Choudhary is fighting the upcoming election from Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) stronghold Baghpat.

Among the few politicians who bucked this trend was BJP stalwart LK Advani who defeated superstar Rajesh Khanna in 1991 from New Delhi constituency. However, Advani’s victory margin was just 1,589 or 0.7% votes. Later, Advani vacated the New Delhi constituency as he had also won the Gandhinagar seat. Khanna eventually won the bypoll.

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