Mini-Atal, star look-alikes campaign in MP polls
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Mini-Atal, star look-alikes campaign in MP polls

If you hear him speak with your eyes closed, you'll bet to the last rupee that it is PM Vajpayee.

india Updated: Nov 28, 2003 12:26 IST

If you hear him speak with your eyes closed, you'll bet to the last rupee that it is Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

But the man is actually Sumit Agarwal, who has earned the sobriquet of "mini-Atal" as his voice and mannerisms match that of the prime minister almost to a T.

The similarity is not lost on BJP candidates, in the December 1 Madhya Pradesh polls, who have roped in Agarwal to campaign for them.

Like Vajpayee, Agarwal's speeches are full of long pauses. He also blinks his eyes and then starts speaking again - like the prime minister.

Throughout his speech, Agarwal's right hand stays raised and he keeps moving it. He has even tried to match his hairstyle and dress like Vajpayee.

In his 30s, he has suddenly shot to fame in Bhopal.

With Friday being the last day of campaigning, BJP leaders tried to fully utilise the potential of Agarwal.

The man himself is just out to have some fun and does not plan to join the BJP.

And that's not all. The Madhya Pradesh poll campaign has become even more colourful with plenty of look-alikes of Bollywood stars.

Even as real life actors and actresses like Jeetendra, Amisha Patel, Yukta Mookhey, Mukesh Tiwari and Ashutosh Rana have plunged into electioneering, their "duplicates" have also been roped in.

While the real stars usually visit urban centres, the look-alikes are in great demand in semi-urban and rural areas.

For instance, people in the Bada-Sivni area of Balaghat district were taken by surprise when they saw Bollywood stars Anil Kapoor, Sunny Deol, Rajesh Khanna, Johnny Lever and Tabu on stage - or at least that's what they thought.

The "stars" were campaigning for the Congress candidate from Balaghat.

But soon people realised that those on stage were not the real stars but their "duplicates"!

The gimmick thrilled nevertheless.

First Published: Nov 28, 2003 11:28 IST