Mumbai: Political parties always find it tough to showcase numbers in their rallies and meetings during campaigning, and it was no different this time, with severe heatwave sweeping the country.
But help from Bollywood was never far away. So, almost all parties have lent a dash of Bollywood by either making film personalities campaign for them or, even better, fielding them.
While most members of the film fraternity have confined themselves to campaigning, some also turned out to contest the elections.
BJP’s Shatrughan Sinha and Vinod Khanna are contesting from Patna Sahib and Gurdaspur respectively while former Samajwadi party MP Raj Babbar is trying his luck from Fatehpur as a Congress candidate.
The current election is also witness to these stars being pitted against each other.
Actor Shekhar Suman has been fielded by Congress against Sinha.
Sanjay Dutt’s dreams of contesting the Lok Sabha election though fell flat after the Supreme Court rejected his petition to stay his sentence of six years imprisonment under the Arms Act. Samajwadi party then ‘compensated´ him by making him the General Secretary of the party. Dutt is also campaigning for party candidates in Thane district of Maharashtra.
Dutt, however, he refrained from canvassing for SP leader Abu Asim Azmi in Mumbai North-West constituency, which borders his sister Priya Dutt’s Mumbai North-Central.
Salman Khan, though, proved his fan following across political affiliations.
The muscular Khan campaigned for almost every major party and continues to draw crowds and requests for campaigning.
The was the star campaigner for Congress and NCP in Maharashtra. He also campaigned for Vinod Khanna of BJP in Gurdaspur. Salman campaigned for Milind Deora and Priya Dutt in Mumbai while his friend and former MP Govinda campaigned for NCP in neighbouring Kalyan.
Raveena Tandon, Chunky Pandey, Jeetendra, Bhagyashree, Suneil Shetty, Raza Murad, Nagma, Urmila Matondkar and Mahima Chaudhary are among those who added a touch of glamour to the election campaign. All of them campaigned for Congress-NCP alliance in Maharashtra.
The outing for the residents of tinsel town was not happy all the way though.
Jeetendra was target of a ‘shoe missile’ attack in Nandurbar constituency of north Maharashtra, dominated by tribals.
BJP MP Hema Malini campaigned for the party all over the country.
If others were busy campaigning or contesting, there were some who donned the mantle of creating awareness about the importance of voting.
Led by Aamir Khan, they tried to to create awareness about the importance of voting through ad campaigns.
Shah Rukh Khan and Preity Zinta, co-owners of Kolkata Knight Riders and Kings X1 Punjab IPL teams respectively, are flying back to Mumbai from South Africa to vote tomorrow.
Even Aamir Khan, who is vacationing in the US with his two children, will return for a day to exercise his franchise.
Karan Johar produced a film featuring youth icons of the film industry, appealing the ‘Gen Next’ to come out and vote.
Johar said the attempt was to strike a chord with around 10 crore first-time voters all over the country.
The video, directed by Tarun Mansukhani, was an endeavour to communicate hope and patriotism among the first-time voters, he said.
The video features Abhishek Bachchan, Ranbir Kapoor, Farhan Akhtar, Shahid Kapur, Kareena Kapoor, Asin, Deepika Padukone, Sonam Kapoor, Imran Khan and Riteish Deshmukh.