Actress Urmila Matondkar recently joined the Indian National Congress after meeting party Chief Rahul Gandhi at his residence. Later at a press conference, Congress Chief Spokesperson Randeep Surjewala announced that the actress will contribute to spreading the Congress ideology and strengthening the party. The party on Friday announced the candidature of the actress from Mumbai North Lok Sabha seat, which has emerged as a stronghold of the BJP. Matondkar will contest against sitting BJP Lok Sabha member Gopal Shetty. Mumbai North was represented by BJP veteran Ram Naik who was upstaged in 2004 by actor Govinda who was the Congress candidate.
Well, this is not the first time actresses have left the glamorous world and join something that occupies the same amount of drama and excitement – ‘Politics’. These actors-turned-politicians are bestowed with immense love and it is something to take note of. There are several stars who left the glamour industry only to join the rat-race of grabbing the ‘Chair’. Maybe it is their way to check whether the fan base helps them to make a difference in society. Whatever you may call, politics is definitely proved as a fall-back career option for several stars.
Here are 10 Bollywood celebrities who turned to politics.
Veteran actress Jaya Bachchan is one of the most versatile actresses of Indian cinema and has showcased her talent and capability not only as an actress but also as a politician. She has always been quite active when it comes to politics. She started her political journey in 2004 and was elected as the Member of Parliament from the Samajwadi Party, representing Uttar Pradesh in the Rajya Sabha till March 2006. She got a second term from June 2006 and third term in 2012. She was re-elected in 2018 for her fourth term in the Rajya Sabha from the Samajwadi Party. She is also felicitated with India’s fourth highest civilian award Padma Shri by the Government of India. In 2017, she bagged the Best Woman Parliamentarian of the Year Award.
Actress-politician Hema Malini campaigned for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate Vinod Khanna, former Bollywood actor during the Lok Sabha elections in Gurdaspur, Punjab. From 2003 to 2009, the then President of India APJ Abdul Kalam nominated her as the MP to the Rajya Sabha. She officially joined BJP in 2004 and was appointed as the general secretary of the BJP. In 2014 General Elections, she was elected to Lok Sabha after she defeated Mathura incumbent Jayant Chaudhary. She is also a supporter of PETA India, the animal rights organisation.
Kirron Kher started her political career with her involvement with non-profit organisations such as ‘Laadli’ – campaign against female infanticide and ‘Roko Cancer’ – campaign for Cancer awareness. She has also participated in the Anna Hazare’s Indian anti-corruption movement in 2011 but when a section of Anna’s team came up the idea of forming ‘Aam Aadmi Party’ she refused to be part of it stating that the group was better as a non-political organisation. She has always been a vocal admirer of Narendra Modi even before he became the Prime Minister of India and has also campaigned for BJP during the 2011 municipal corporation elections. BJP declared her as the Lok Sabha candidate from Chandigarh for General Elections 2014 and Kirron even won the seat with a good majority.
Former Bollywood actress Jaya Prada bid goodbye to Bollywood and made her foray into politics. She started her political career with the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in 1994 but soon left the party following differences with party supremo N. Chandrababu Naidu. She then joined the Samajwadi Party and contested from Rampur Parliamentary Constituency in UP during the 2004 General election and got elected. She was re-elected in 2009. On March 2014, she joined the Rashtriya Lok Dal and was issued a ticket to contest in 2014 general elections from the Bijnor seat. However, she lost the election. On March 26, 2019, she joined the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Former model, television actress, and producer, Smriti Zubin Irani is a Member of Parliament, being elected to the Rajya Sabha from the state of Gujarat. She is the current Information and Broadcasting and Textiles Minister in the Government of India.
Moon Moon Sen
Moon Moon Sen is an actress known for her works in Hindi, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Marathi and Kannada films. In March 2014, she joined Trinamool Congress and won the 2014 Lok Sabha polls from Bankura constituency by defeating CPI(M)’s nine-time MP Basudeb Acharia.
Roopa Ganguly is an actress, playback singer, and politician, who is known for her role of Draupadi in BR Chopra’s television series ‘Mahabharat’. In 2015, she joined BJP ahead of the West Bengal Legislative Assembly Election in 2016. However, she lost the election. In October 2016, she was nominated to the Rajya Sabha.
Popularly known as ‘Ramya’, Divya Spandana is a popular actress in Kannada film industry and a recipient of two Filmfare Awards and a Karnataka State Film Award. In 2012, she joined the Indian National Congress as a member of its youth wing. In 2013, she was a by-election and became a Member of Parliament for Karnataka’s Mandya constituency. She has been appointed as the head of Congress’ digital media team and is said to be credited for having transformed Congress’ social media image.
Known for her work in Bengali films, Sandhya Roy is an actress who is a three-time recipient of Bengal Film Journalists’ Association Awards commonly referred to as BFJA Awards. In 2014, she contested in the 2014 Lok Sabha election for the All India Trinamul Congress from Medinipur constituency and won the election.
Known for her role as ‘Angoori Bhabhi’ in ‘Bhabhi Ji Ghar Par Hai’, Shilpa Shinde was also the winner of the reality TV show Big Boss season 11. On February 5, 2019, she joined the Indian National Congress. According to reports, Shilpa is keen to contest elections but it is not clear whether she will contest Lok Sabha or the State Assembly, both scheduled for this year.