Bollywood stars draw crowds, not necessarily votes

At Kamla Nagar, TV star Aman Verma drew crowds when he campaigned for BJP?s Surya Prakash. But the numbers could have been misleading as most people had turned up to catch a glimpse of the Khul Ja... star.

india Updated: Nov 27, 2003 12:12 IST

If politicians thought getting actors to campaign for them would fetch them votes, they seem to have got it all wrong.

BJP candidate from Saket, Vijay Jolly, learnt this the hard way when he had to face uncomfortable questions from his voters as to why he had got actress Amisha Patel to campaign for him.

During an interactive session between voters and candidates at Pushp Vihar, Jolly had no answer when a resident asked him: “What were you doing with Amisha Patel when you should have been focussing on the area’s development?”

“Politicians must be stupid if they think we will get carried away by the pretty faces of Bollywood actresses,” said another.

At Kamla Nagar, TV star Aman Verma drew crowds when he campaigned for BJP’s Surya Prakash. But the numbers could have been misleading as most people had turned up to catch a glimpse of the Khul Ja... star.

“Aman Verma might be a heartthrob, but that doesn't mean all of us will vote for Surya Prakash. I just wanted to see how handsome Aman Verma looks in person,” said Ruchi Sharma of Kamla Nagar.

There’s no doubt looks and charm go a long way in pulling crowds. That explains why yesteryear actor Asrani’s campaign for BJP’s Ashok Aggarwal in Model Town was a flop. “I would have considered going if Salman or Fardeen was campaigning, but the idea of watching Asrani wasn’t tempting enough,” said housewife Ritu Chhabra of Model Town.

Though it’s the BJP which has a bigger share of star campaigners, the Congress has got actors-turned-politicians Rajesh Khanna and Sunil Dutt to campaign for them.

According to Anis Turrani, convener of the Congress’s media department, “The reason why we haven’t got actors and actresses to campaign for us is because our work speaks for itself. We don’t need crowd-pullers. As for our star campaigners, they are seasoned politicians like Sunil Dutt and Rajesh Khanna.”

First Published: Nov 27, 2003 12:12 IST