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Rajinikanth in a still from ‘Kabali’.
Rajinikanth in a still from ‘Kabali’.

Ten Indian actors-turned-politicians

Rajinikanth is not the first Indian film actor to enter the political arena. Here are 10 others who turned to politics over the years

New Delhi: On New Year’s Eve, superstar Rajinikanth announced his decision to join active politics with a new party. Given that Indian film actors are no strangers to the political arena, here are 10 others who have turned to the same over the years.

M.G. Ramachandran: The Tamil film star was a member of the Congress till 1953 and then joined the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK). He later floated the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK). He served as chief minister of Tamil Nadu for 10 years between 1977 and 1987.

Amitabh Bachchan: In 1984, Bachchan took a break from acting to contest the Lok Sabha elections from Allahabad which he won. However, following allegations in the Bofors scandal, he resigned and vowed to never enter politics again.

Shatrughan Sinha: Sinha has been a member of both the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, besides serving as Union minister of health and family welfare and shipping for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government.

Govinda: The actor joined the Congress party in 2004 and was elected to Lok Sabha from Mumbai. By 2008, he decided to quit and focus on his film career.

Jayalalithaa: Considered an icon in Tamil Nadu, Jayalalithaa served six terms as chief minister of the state between 1991 and 2016. A member of the AIADMK, she was known for her proximity to MGR.

Sunil Dutt: Dutt joined the Congress party in 1984 and was elected as member of Parliament from Mumbai. He served as minister of youth affairs and sports from 2004-2005.

Hema Malini: Malini has been part of both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha as a representative of the BJP. She is currently a member of Parliament from the Mathura constituency.

Smriti Irani: Long after she made television history with Ekta Kapoor’s soap opera Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, Irani was elected as member of Parliament from the state of Gujarat. She is currently the Union minister of information and broadcasting and textiles.

Rajesh Khanna: The 1970s superstar was a member of Parliament from the Congress party from the New Delhi constituency. He won elections in 1992 and retained his seat till 1996, after which he quit politics.

Vinod Khanna: The actor was a member of Parliament from the Gurdaspur constituency from 1998-2009 and 2014-2017. In July 2002, Khanna became the minister for culture and tourism in the BJP government. Six months later, he was appointed the minister of state for external affairs.

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