Are celebrities just a quick-fix to woo voters?

With stars making a beeline to take the uncertain political plunge amid the hectic poll season, Election2019 is turning out to be starriest of all. But doesn't fielding these celebrities at the last moment demotivate party workers, who have been the rightful claimants for MP tickets?

Ankita Virmani April 30, 2019 19:18:14 IST

With stars making a beeline to take the uncertain political plunge amid the hectic poll season, election 2019 is turning out to be the starriest of all…The dhai killo ka haath and hyper-nationalist Sunny Deol,
India’s most famous barber Jawed Habib, Tote tote ho Gaya fame Punjabi singer Hans Raj Hans, Padma awardee boxer Vijender Singh are all new entrants to electoral politics.

Sunny Deol is contesting on a BJP ticket from Punjab’s Gurdaspur, which was nursed by Vinod Khanna till his death last April, Hans Raj Hans is the BJP nominee from north-west Delhi, while the Congress has
fielded ace pugilist Vijender Singh from the prestigious South Delhi seat

Are these celebrities just a quick-fix to woo voters?

But, do stars really perform in Parliament?

Let’s take a look at some of the parameters of the celebrity MPs in the outgoing 16th LokSabha. With 84%, the saffron party’s Kirron Kher tops the list in terms of attendance, while the BJP’s Mathura nominee
Hema Malini, who had won the 2014 election with one the highest vote margins, nearly brings out the rear at a paltry 39%. Talk of the Questions they have asked in Parliament, Shatrughan Sinha, who this time is
contesting from Patna Sahib on a Congress after being rebuffed by the BJP, draws a blank. Textile minister Smriti Irani, however, leads the pack with an impressive 340 questions.

Shatrughan Sinha has again scored an ignominious zero for the number of debates he has participated in the Lok Sabha, while Trinamool’s actor-turned-MP Moon Moon Sen has barely managed to open her account.
Paresh Rawal, the actor-turned-outgoing Ahmedabad East MP, is also at single digit at 8, much to the BJP’s embarrassment…While the Aam Aadmi Party’s Bhagwant Mann, who hit the headlines for drunken stupor for
the better part of his tenure, has scored a century as far as his participation of parliamentary debates are concerned…Mann has been pro-active as an MP, despite being a butt of much ridicule

But, doesn’t fielding these celebs at the last moment demotivate party workers, who have been the rightful claimants for MP tickets?

Consider the case of bureaucrat-turned-sitting North West Delhi MP Udit Raj, who was denied a ticket by the BJP as it favored Hans Raj Hans over the Dalit politician… We leave you with the report card of some of
the celebrity MPs from the outgoing 16th Lok Sabha to make up your mind about their performance as legislators ….and whether it’s a calling they should pursue at our expense

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