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Stardom politics extends its hand in Odisha: No eye-catching result visible
Screen and politics, the second oldest profession, are tightly associated since the advent of silver screen in India. Film and television, the most popular form of media, have criticised politics while playing the role of second opposition outside parliament. No doubt the best political critic in India is Indian film industry right from the regional film industry to Bollywood. They have screened all issues right from Naxalism to family war for political power.

But when it is about real politics our constitution allows twelve prominent people from different fields (including film industry) to Rajya Sabha. Apart from this, many leading political parties (national & regional) have been fielding film & television stars for vote using their stardom.

This was at normal level in 2009 General Elections, but in 2014 it has turned into an issue as both national and regional parties are in a hurry to field more and more silk sirens and hunks of film industry. They are also aggressive to grab party ticket. And for the first time in Indian political history, a Bollywood item girl, Rakhi Sawant, the controversial lady, is fighting in Mumbai forming a political party as the party's lone candidate, campaigning in Bollywood words.

The Odia film industry 'Ollywood' has also joined its step with politics. Although the trend is not new, in 2014 almost the entire Ollywood seems to be joining the real politics. After BJD creaming the trend, the Congress and the BJP too have got their shares. The BJD has surfed its glamor portfolio adding superstar Anubhav, Akash and popular comedian ( Odia Kapil Sharma) with former mega stars like Prasanta Nanda and Siddhant Mohapatra.

Veteran actor Mihir Das, singer Trupti Das, Satwaki Mishra and Munna Khan are engaged in campaigning fray of BJD. The party has also openly declared youth icon Anubhav for up coming Rajya Sabha elections.

Following the trend, the Congress has roped yesteryear's actors Aparajita Mohanty, the Ollywood Dream girl and Bijay Mohanty. The BJP has only actor-directer Sritam Das. In this elections the parties are not only using their stardom, they are already pushed to the electoral battle.

The Congress has fielded Aparajita from the prestigious Cuttack and Bijay Mohanty from Bhubaneswar MP seats, while BJD's Siddhant is contesting for Lok Sabha from Bramhapur. Similarly, Akash Das Nayak (Korai) and Papu Pom Pom (Champua) are BJD candidates for respective assembly constituencies.

The role of a political leader on screen is no doubt far different from real politics. For vote bank politics almost all political parties are alluring stars for instant political milleage. But it is not good for politics. And in 2014 elections it will not work as the parties think. The political wave of 2014 is far away from traditional political campaign.

People of Odisha are more aware of election manifesto. Youths demand industrialisation, education, infrastructure, employment, development. Stardom values zero in cities like Bhubaneswar and Cuttack.

On the other hand the BJD has fielded Akash Das, son of a well known CPI leader who has been fighting for tribes' rights in the mining area, from Korai and Papu from Champua, replacing Jitu Patnaik, the independent MLA who recently joined BJD, another mining hub in Odisha. Both are professionally actors and can't dedicate full time for areas. Here the BJD, reportedly blamed for mines corruption, has played the same card for Kosei and Sukinda.

A general question arises, has BJD played the card to rule over two mines? Similarly, the Congress declared Aparajita in Cuttack as it was being widely reported that super star Anubhav will contest from Cuttack, his home turf. What may be their agenda and strategy people of Odisha are no more to accept stardom in politics.

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rakhi sawant
(86 Articles)

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