New Delhi, March 13 (IANS) It’s election time and can the stars – from the film world and the sports field, be far behind? Some names have been declared from Kerala and West Bengal and the coming days will make it clear who will hit the campaign trail and who will be left behind.
“Handling two things is always difficult but everything can be balanced,” “I have full faith in my multi-tasking skills,” “People have confidence in me, they know I am a straightforward honest man,” are the buzzwords of the chosen and the hopefuls.
So, who are the certainties as of now?
From Kerala, there’s ace comedian Innocent, a giant killer in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections when he trounced Congress veteran and incumbent member P.C.Chacko by a margin of 13, 884 votes. The 71-year-old is a former president of the Association of Malayalam Movie Artists and has been again asked by the CPI-M to contest from
Chalakudy is in Thrissur district. The candidates opposing him from the Congress-led UDF and the BJP-led NDA are yet to be announced.
Kamal Haasan, who heads his newly-floated Makkal Needhi Maiam outfit, is a certainty from Tamil Nadu and will be hoping his lighted torch election symbol will bring him and the others he fields.
Interesting contests are on the cards in West Bengal.
For instance, in Asansol, the state’s industrial belt close to the Jharkhand border, the glam quotient is set to rise after the Trinamool Congress on Tuesday decided to field yesteryear’s actress and its current Bankura MP Moon Moon Sen from the seat.
Sen, the daughter of Bengali screen legend Suchitra Sen, is likely to take on singer-turned-Union Minister Babul Supriyo, the incumbent BJP MP, who has already begun his groundwork even though his party is yet to announce its list of candidates.
Then, there’s Trinamool Congress celebrity candidate Nusrat Jahan, for whom her new stint in politics is just like household work. She believes she can easily balance her new role with her film career.
“For me, managing home and shooting for films both are my full-time jobs. Now I don’t think to work for people will be like extra work. Handling two things is always difficult but everything can be balanced,” Nusrat told IANS
And, Trinamool Congress candidate and actor Mimi Chakraborty is oozing enthusiasm for her new role, saying she is “ready with my sneakers on”.
“I just want everyone to bless me as I have full faith in my multi-tasking skills and I believe I will be able to prove myself. I am ready with my sneakers on,” Mimi told IANS, adding: “People have loved my films, so am very optimistic. I have always loved to be there for the people so I think I will be able to do it,” a reference to chosing politics at the peak of her film career.
Other names in the Trinamool Congress list are theatre personality Arpita Ghosh and incumbent MPs Satabdi Roy and Dipak Adhikari, as also former Indian footballer Prasun Banerjee.
Some names are a reasonable certainty from Bollywood. They include film stars Hema Malini, Dharmendra, Kirron Kher and Shatrughan Sinha.
Others who could make the cut from the Mumbai industry are Gul Panag, Nagma, Shilpa Shinde and Asavari Joshi.
Back to the south.
In Karnataka, there’s multi-lingual actress Sumalatha, widow of late Congress actor-turned-politician M.H. Ambareesh. No party has declared so far that it will field her. She has said she’s keen to contest even as an Independent and will announce her decision on March 18.
The ruling JD-S is said to be keen to field Nikhil Kumaraswamy, Kannada actor and son of Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy. However, neither the party or coaltion ally Congress has announced any of their candidates so far.
Multi-lingual south Indian actor Prakash Raj is to contest from Bengaluru as an Independent.
Kannada superstar Upendra will field candidates from all of Karnataka’s 28 seats through his political outfit Uttama Prajakeeya Paksha. He will, however, not be contesting himself.
In Andhra Pradesh, Jana Sena leader Pawan Kalyan is also likely to enter the fray. His brother Chiranjeevi is no longer active in the Congress and is not likely to contest or campaign for the party.
The names of three criketers have also emerged, among them Kirti Azad, who played in 7 Tests and 25 ODIs from 1980 to 1986.
“I am upbeat and will win by more than 2 lakh votes,” Azad, who recently quit the BJP and joined the Congress,” told IANS on the phone from Patna, where he had flown from New Delhi to attend his father-in-law’s funeral.
“People have confidence in me, they know I am a straightforward honest man. They know I don’t mince my words. I have fought against corruption and have been wrongly suspended by the BJP for having spoken against corruption. I spoke against the finance minister of this country where I will leave politics if it is not proven that a Rs 400 crore fraud has not taken place in the DDCA,” Azad, who is hoping for a Congress ticket from Darbangha, added.
Former Indian cricket captan Mohammad Azharuddin is among the probable Congress candidates from Telangana, while a question mark hangs over Gautam Gambhir, a former captain of IPL francise Kolkata Knight Riders.
Other names from the two worlds are likely to emerge in the coming and we’ll keep you posted.