India elections

Parties count on stars to pull in the voters India elections

Celebs bring instant glamour, their popularity drawing crowds during election campaigning

Former actress Urmila Matondkar, who joined India's main opposition Congress party, at her election rally in Mumbai last month. Indian actor and Bharatiya Janata Party candidate Sunny Deol (in pink), who is contesting the Gurdaspur parliamentary seat
Indian actor and Bharatiya Janata Party candidate Sunny Deol (in pink), who is contesting the Gurdaspur parliamentary seat in Punjab state, gesturing to supporters during in an election roadshow in Allahabad last Saturday. He joins a growing number of film and television stars, both newcomers and experienced, taking part in India’s general elections. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
Former actress Urmila Matondkar, who joined India's main opposition Congress party, at her election rally in Mumbai last month. Indian actor and Bharatiya Janata Party candidate Sunny Deol (in pink), who is contesting the Gurdaspur parliamentary seat
Former actress Urmila Matondkar, who joined India's main opposition Congress party, at her election rally in Mumbai last month. PHOTO: REUTERS

In his 1980s and 1990s heyday, Bollywood actor Sunny Deol was famed for portraying angry men with a heart of gold.

The star of hit movies like Border, which was based on the 1971 India-Pakistan war, and Gadar: Ek Prem Katha (Revolt: A Love Story) is now taking on a different role - fighting elections in the northern state of Punjab.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on May 12, 2019, with the headline 'Parties count on stars to pull in the voters India elections'. Subscribe