Ranchi, April 19 (IANS) Taking the lead frm national parties, regional outfits in Jharkhand have also roped in film stars to campaign for their candidates in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections.
However, the Congress is ahead of the other political parties having roped in Bollywood actresses Mashima Chaudhary and Minissha Lamba, famous yester-years actress Zeenat Aman, and television star Ronit Roy, among others, to campaign for the party.
Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has brought in its Rajya Sabha MP Hema Malini and Bollywood actor Shatrughan Sinha, while the regional outfit, Jharkhand Vikas Morcha-Prajatantrik (JVM-P) has taken help of Bollywood actresses Nisha Kothari and Koina Mitra and television star Shweta Tewary.
Mahima and Zeenat Aman participated in Congress party road shows in Ranchi, Godda and at other places. Talking to reporters, Mahima said: 'The Congress is the only secular party of the country. Considering the credentials of Congress, I am here to campaign for the party.'
Hema Malini has addressed nearly ten rallies in her two visits to the state, while Sinha has campaigned only in favour of party candidate Yashwant Sinha in Hazaribagh. 'Atalji's personality and ethics impressed me to join BJP. I am trying to spread the ideology of the BJP in the country,' she said.
However, the BJP says it is not using film stars for campaigning as both Hema Malini and Sinha are dedicated workers of the party.
'Hema Malini and Shatrughhan Sinha are in BJP for more than a decade. Both of them have campaigned for the party in the last several elections. Being party workers, they campaigned in Jharkhand. We are not using film stars who joined our party at election time,' said Raghubar Das, the chief of the BJP's state unit.
However, it is the JVM-P's move to seek help of the item girls and television stars that has surprised everyone. The party is led by the state's first chief minister and BJP rebel Babulal Marandi, who is trying to make the JVM-P emerge as alternative to both the BJP and the Congress in the state.
'Regional parties like the JVM-P use film stars to popularise the party among the people. JVM-P is a new regional outfit formed two years ago. It is struggling to make its presence felt in the state. The film stars help regional parties gather crowds so that the party views could be spread among the voters,' said R.N. Gaud, a retired professor of Ranchi University.