12 Bollywood Personalities Who Tried Their Hand At Politics Before Rajinikanth Did

A change in career isn’t that drastic for most of us. We simply slide from one job we can’t tolerate to another we can barely tolerate.

But it can’t be that simple for an actor, after all, ow is it possible to go anywhere from a job where millions of people you’ll never meet adore you? Simple, you move to politics.

A job where millions of people you’ll never meet hate your guts.

But not all actors have turned their attempts at politics into a success. Still, it’s fun looking at all those who tried. Also, we’ve excluded Kirron Kheer, Hema Malini and Smriti Irani whose political careers are well known and publicized.

#1 Shabana Azmi


The celebrated actress has always allied herself with multiple social causes. She has campaigned for AIDS awareness as well as the displacement of Kashmiri Pandits. Azmi has never shied away from using her celebrity to vocalize her opinions on social causes and her efforts led to her being nominated as a member of the Rajya Sabha in 1997.

She has also been a member of the National Integration Council since 1989. A body headed by the OM of India.

#2 Govinda


The actor won the 2004 Lok Sabha election from the North Mumbai constituency. During his tenure, however, he was severely criticized for his absence form Parliamentary sessions. His simultaneous failure as an actor resulted in him being panned by the press.

This negative response from both the press as well as his constituents resulted in his resignation in 2008. In subsequent interviews, he has always mentioned how it took him a very long time to get over his disastrous political career.

#3 Bappi Lahiri


The man behind the popularization of disco in India joined the Bharatiya Janata Party in 2014.

The party declared him as their candidate from Srirampur in West Bengal during the 2014 Indian general election. However, Lahiri lost and never attempted to revive his political career. He did make the news however for trying to woo his voters by singing his greatest hits on stage. Before his defeat, he was very optimistic stating –

 “I came into politics to support him because like Modi I also want to serve the people. I could have got a Rajya Sabha ticket anytime but I opted for the Lok Sabha because I want to connect with people,” (Source)

#4Amitabh Bachchan


A longtime friend of Rajiv Gandhi, Bachchan took a break from his career in the 80’s to pursue a career in politics. He contested for the 8th Lok Sabha from Allahabad and won in a landslide. However, after 3 years, Bachchan resigned. His resignation came after his implication in the Bofors scandal where many high ranking members were accused of receiving illicit payments from Swiss banks.

Bachchan re-entered politics as a supporter of the Samajwadi Party. He did, however, get into trouble for previously submitting legal papers claiming that he is a farmer.

#5 Gul Panag


Panag is the woman behind the Colonel Shamsher Singh Foundation which aims to raise awareness regarding gender inequality as well as disaster relief efforts. She was also a participant of the India Against Corruption movement after which she followed Arvind Kejriwal to become a member of AAP.

She was a candidate for AAP in 2014 from Chandigarh, however, lost to Kirron Kher.

#6 Mithun Chakraborty


The highly successful actor was nominated as a member of the Rajya Sabha in 2014 representing the Trinamool Congress. However, he resigned in 2016 for health reasons.

Chakraborty’s stint was criticized heavily, especially because he reportedly attended only three sessions of Parliament during his tenure.

#7 Vinod Khanna


Khanna joined the BJP in 1997. Elected from the Gurdaspur constituency in Punjab, he was re-elected in 1999 to the Lok Sabha. He was made a Union Minister for Culture and Tourism in 2002 and then as a Minister of State to the Ministry of External Affairs.

Khanna was re-elected to the Lok Sabha two more times from the Gurdaspur constituency, once in 2004 and again in 2014.

#8Shekhar Suman


A Congress Candidate from Patna, Suman contested elections in 2009 but lost to Shatrughan Sinha who contested for the BJP. He resigned from his membership, however, claiming he wanted to focus on his work as an actor. Saying –

“I have already resigned from the primary membership of Congress because of my preoccupation in Bollywood. I cannot do justice to party work with both my hands already full with prior commitments so I decided to quit,” (Source)

#9  Rakhi Sawant


Sawant earned her share of infamy through her career in Bollywood, however, the media really hung on to the news that she was interested in pursuing a political career.

Sawant declared her intention to run as an independent candidate in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections from Mumbai-North West. She founded the party Rashtriya Aam Party, the symbol of which Sawant wanted to be a green chilli.

However, she only earned 15 votes and eventually went on to join the RPI (A). she works for the party as the president fo the party’s women’s wing.

#10 Shatrughan Sinha


A member of the BJP, Sinha contested a by-election against his personal friend Rajesh Khanna. Sinha lost that election, however, he went on to win the Patna Sahib constituency in 2009 in Bihar beating out Shekhar Suman. He won the seat in the 2014 elections as well.

Sinha was a cabinet minister under Vajpayee’s third ministry, holding portfolios for health as well as shipping.

#11 Dharmendra Singh Deol


Elected as an MP in the 2004 general elections from Rajasthan,  Dharmendra was a BJP member at the time. However, his tenure saw poor attendance and a low level of interest from his side.

He eventually left politics, however, stating it took too much of a toll on him and he wanted to focus on films for the time being.

#12 Jaya Bhaduri


A member of the Samajwadi Party, Bachchan was nominated to the Rajya Sabha in 2004. Her second term began in 2006 and then again in 2012 for a third term.

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