For Bollywood actors eyeing politics, this Indian constituency is a sure shot winner

Number one.
Number one.
Image: AP Photo/Divyakant Solanki
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Bollywood actor Sunny Deol clocked an impressive victory in Punjab’s Gurdaspur constituency, winning by more than 80,000 votes.

A Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) stronghold, there’s another unique trend this seat follows—a Bollywood star has held it for over two decades now. It was represented by the actor-turned-politician Vinod Khanna from 1998 until his death in 2017.

After his death, there was speculation that his wife Kavita Khanna wanted to be nominated from the seat. But instead, Deol was fielded.


Last month, Deol’s father Dharmendra had said he would not have let Deol run had he known he was up against Sunil Jakhar because he held Jakhar’s father Balram in high regard. But, once the results came in, Dharmendra took to Twitter to congratulate his son.


Other celebs

Hema Malini, Deol’s stepmother and a Bollywood veteran, was re-elected in the Mathura constituency, from where she won in 2014 as well, with more than 60% of votes.

Actor Kirron Kher of the BJP won in Chandigarh, garnering over half the votes polled.

The winning streak continued with another celebrity—from outside moviedom. Former cricketer Gautum Gambhir clocked a big win during his electoral debut in the East Delhi constituency. He had retired from all forms of cricket in December 2014 before joining the Narendra Modi-led party in mid-March this year.

But star power didn’t tide everyone over.

The star losers

Shatrugan Sinha, who just switched from a long-term affiliation with BJP to the Congress in April, lost to Ravi Shankar Prasad.

Urmila Matondkar, after losing in the Mumbai North region, alleged electronic voting machine (EVM) fraud in Magathane. “On the form of EVM 17C from Magathane, the signatures and the machine numbers are different. A complaint has been filed with the Election Commission,” she tweeted.

South star Prakash Raj, who ran as an independent candidate from Bengaluru Central, called his loss a slap on his face.

Read Quartz’s coverage of the 2019 Indian general election here.