Ajit Pawar frowns at film stars joining politics, contesting elections

Pune, Mar 4 (IANS): Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister and Nationalist Congress Party President Ajit Pawar on Monday attacked the trend of film stars joining politics and contesting elections.

Addressing a public meeting in Shirur Lok Sabha constituency to prepare for the upcoming parliament elections, he listed various film stars who entered the political arena to contest polls, and then quit.

"Actors like Rajesh Khanna, Dharmendra, Govinda, Shatrughan Sinha have contested elections… Even Amitabh Bachchan stood for elections and won, but later he felt that politics is not his cup of tea and resigned leaving everything," he said.

Taking potshots at the "star politicians", he sarcastically said that "when a charming new face comes to the fore (in elections), we feel good for the first few days... they give twirl to their moustache and impress us", and people press the EVM button in their favour.

"But then what is their connection to public life, politics and contribution to the peoples’ issues… Ultimately, what matters is whether they (film-stars) are interested in doing developmental works in their constituencies."

Targeting sitting Shirur MP of Nationalist Congress Party-SP, Dr Amol Kolhe, an acclaimed film and television actor, Ajit Pawar said that "even we committed a blunder of nominating and campaigning for him", thinking that he would shape up well as an elected representative.

"We couldn’t gauge what was going on in his mind… there’s no way to know it," he rued, in a hint at Dr. Kolhe’s refusal to align with him after the NCP - founded by his uncle Sharad Pawar - split vertically in July 2023.

At one point, Dr Kolhe toyed with joining the Ajit Pawar faction, but then chose to remain with the Sharad Pawar side, irking the former.

Unfazed by Ajit Pawar’s snide remarks, Dr. Kolhe, who was formerly with the (undivided) Shiv Sena, noted that it was Sharad Pawar who gave him an opportunity to contest from Shirur in 2019 and he won.

"I have always been honest to my work… My performance account for Shirur in the parliament is available in the public domain, anyone can see it. I can assure that the stand I have taken will continue (with Sharad Pawar’s party). I always remain committed to raising the issues of the people of my constituency," he said.

With Dr Kolhe likely to be re-nominated by the NCP-SP to contest Shirur, Ajit Pawar is desperately hunting for a suitable candidate to counter him and wrest the seat from the doctor-turned-actor – reputed for his roles as Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj.

The names of various other contenders from the ruling MahaYuti alliance of Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party-NCP are doing the rounds in political circles, though Ajit Pawar is quite keen to get at least 10 out of the 48 Lok Sabha seats in his kitty.

Almost all political parties in the country have some measure of the 'glamour quotient' - film stars, TV stars, etc, though Ajit Pawar's NCP lacks them.



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