BJP packs in star power before polls

Veteran actor and former MP Jaya Prada touches the floor before stepping on the dais as she arrives to join the BJP in New Delhi on Tuesday. PTI

The BJP has gathered a lot of star power in its favour ahead of the next Lok Sabha polls.

Bollywood heartthrob of yesteryears, Jaya Prada, joined the BJP on Tuesday. Hours later, she was fielded from the Rampur Lok Sabha seat to take on senior SP leader Azam Khan.

Apart from a stream of politicians from the Congress and regional parties joining it, the saffron party has also managed to bring in a fair share of celebrities — icons from film and sports, the scientific community and civil services.

Jaya Prada, a protégé of former SP general secretary Amar Singh, was expected to follow in the footsteps of her mentor, who is a Rajya Sabha MP and has been showering effusive praise on Prime Minister Narendra Modi after he broke away from Samajwadi Party.

Last week, former cricketer Gautam Gambhir joined the BJP and may be fielded from Delhi, where arch rivals Congress and Aam Aadmi Party on Tuesday joined hands.

In January, young Bollywood actress Isha Koppikar joined the BJP in the presence of Union Minister Nitin Gadkari in Mumbai and was appointed as the working president of the BJP's women transport wing there.

Paralympian Deepa Mallik joined the BJP on Monday. Mallik, who is the first Indian woman to win a medal at the Paralympic games is likely to contest from the party-ruled Haryana. 

83-year-old veteran Bengali actor Biswajeet Chatterjee, who has also acted in a number of Bollywood films, joined the BJP in February this year.

Another film industry veteran from West Bengal to join the BJP this year was Moushumi Chatterjee, who had contested the 2004 Lok Sabha election in West Bengal on a Congress party ticket.

The BJP already has cast film actors in lead political roles. Rupa Ganguly, from West Bengal, who had played the character of Draupadi in Hindi serial 'Mahabharata' had joined the BJP in 2015 and is now a Rajya Sabha MP from the state.

Former Odisha Police chief Prakash Mishra joined the BJP in March this year. Aparajita Sarangi, a former IAS officer of the Odisha cadre, joined the BJP in November last year.

Odisha is a new catchment area for the BJP. At least three lawmakers from the BJD, including its media face Baijayant Panda, have already joined the BJP.

Former ISRO chief G Madhavan Nair had joined the BJP in Kerala in October last year.

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BJP packs in star power before polls

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