Bhopal: Bollywood stars taking plunge into politics is a set precedent these days. Stars cash in on their popularity to win over voters and political parties cash in on them to win seats. With 2019 Lok Sabha polls inching closer, big names such as Madhuri Dikshit, Akshay Kumar, Anupak Kher and Nana Patekar are already doing the rounds in BJP circles.
If reports emerging from Congress circles in Madhya Pradesh are to be believed now, the party might approach none other than actor Kareena Kapoor to contest from Bhopal, a high-profile seat once unsuccessfully contested by his father in law, cricketing legend Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi.
Kareena’s name has come as a surprise for her followers as she hasn’t been heard in public forums sharing her political ideology or taking position on national issues. Her only brush with public life has remained confined to as Unicef’s goodwill ambassador in India.
Kareena, has, however, rubbished all these claims. Entertainment portal Pinkvilla, quoted her saying “there is no truth to these reports. I have not been approached for this whatsoever. My focus is and only will be movies.”
If indeed, she contests the upcoming polls, it will the Kapoor dynasty’s maiden tryst with politics. Kareena’s name has been proposed by two Congress leaders, Guddu Chouhan and Anas Khan, as a possible candidate for Bhopal parliamentary seat where the grand old party has not tasted success since 1984. Chouhan has even written to party president Rahul Gandhi, seeking his attention to their demands.
There is no word from either Kareena or Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath if the suggestion is under active consideration. Chouhan and Khan are of the firm believe that Kareena and her husband Saif’s connection with the city will work in their favour. Both are regular visitors to the city.
While Pataudis hail from Pataudi town near Gurgaon, their Bhopal link was established three generations ago when Nawab Iftekhar Ali Khan Pataudi married Begum Sajida Sultan. Begum Sajida Sultan (actor Saif Ali Khan’s grandmother) was the second daughter of Hamidullah Khan, the Nawab of Bhopal and last regent of Bhopal State.
In 1991, when Rajiv Gandhi was desperately seeking a return to power, ‘Tiger’ Pataudi had donned political colours, putting a lot at stake for the Bhopal seat. Rajiv himself had joined his campaign along with Pataudi’s wife Sharmila Tagore. Few weeks later Rajiv met with his untimely death at Sri Perumpudur in Tamil Nadu. Pataudi too could not maintain his edge, having realised that his secular image was no match for his constituency which was sharply divided on communal lines. He lost the elections.
It remains to be seen what stand Kareena takes in her campaigning, should she decided to take a plunge into politics and contest the Bhopal seat.
According to reports, the actress is busy with four big projects right now, being directed and produced by big names in the industry. Her latest movie ‘Good News’ starring opposite Akshay Kumar is slated to be released somewhere around June-July this year.