As controversies haunt them one after the other the stars are losing their shine. A number of them are drawing flak for their affiliations, the manner of their campaigning and shifting ideological stance during Vidhan Sabha elections.
Take Zeenat Aman's case. On Tuesday, she was in Lucknow to campaign for Congress. A few days ago Zeenat had campaigned for the Rashtriya Parivartan Dal President DP Yadav who is contesting election from Sahaswan Vidhan Sabha seat of Budaun. DP Yadav has remained in focus for his criminal antecedents.
Many eyebrows were raised when Zeenat Aman praised Yadav at election meetings there. Ranjit, the villain of yesteryears too was not far behind. Both Zeenat and Ranjit urged voters to elect DP Yadav's wife Umlesh Yadav who is also contesting the poll from Bisauli seat. Umlesh is seeking votes to save her son Vikas Yadav the main accused in the Nitish Katara murder case.
Besides Zeenat two leading stars Firoz Khan and Surendra Pal who played Arjun and Dronacharya respectively in Mahabharat serial are also here to campaign for Congress candidates. Replying to a question Zeenat Aman said campaigning for DP Yadav was an exception. “There has been too much controversy about the same,” she said adding that she had always campaigned for Congress.
“I have covered length and breadth of the country campaigning for Congress candidates,” she said adding that she believed in Congress' leadership. “I believe in Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi,” she said. Firoz said he who had also campaigned for DP Yadav's party a few years ago also justified his action. “I go for friendship,” he said adding that he only campaigned for DP Yadav's party and not for DP Yadav.
Significantly the stars are also using their small screen avtar while campaigning. Firoz often uses his role as Arjun to make his point why the people should make the right choice and vote for Congress in the poll. The Union Minister for Steel Akhilesh Das who has roped in the stars for campaigning also did not lag behind and began the interaction with the media with what he called the blessing from the Dronacharya.
Earlier Celina Jaitley too openly announced her support for Rahul Gandhi and described him as a 'born leader.' She also campaigned for the Congress in the state capital. On the other hand the noted super star Amitabh Bachchan is also drawing flak for featuring in the Samajwadi Party's advertisement campaign titled “UP main hai dum, kyunki jurm yahan hai kam.”
Leaders of almost all the major political parties have criticised Amitabh Bachchan for featuring in the advertisement campaign. The Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee (UPCC) President Salman Khurshid has even quoted dialogues from feature film 'Sholey' to criticise Samajwadi party and Amitabh Bachchan.
This is not to say that stars have become the reason for arousing controversies. A number of stars are turning out to be real political heroes creating problems for their political rivals. This is true with the Samajwadi Party MP Raj Babbar who has been spearheading a campaign against SP.
The BJP leader Shatrughan Sinha has often caused embarrassment to his party's leadership whenever he has felt neglected. Cine star and the SP MP Jaya Bachchan however landed in controversy over the office of profit issue. Another SP MP Jaya Prada on the other hand has remained in the midst of controversy for her differences with the Minister for Urban Development Mohammad Azam Khan.