Bollywood Stars Duel Over Seat in Parliament

Stars go head to head in fight for office
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 6, 2009 11:17 AM CDT
Patna, in the Indian state of Bihar, is a poor community with some of the most run-down facilities in the country. Now, two bright Bollywood stars from Patna are running for office.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Imagine a congressional election pitting Jay Leno against Simon Cowell. The rough equivalent is happening now in India, where talk-show host Shekhar "Shaker" Suman is running for Parliament against Shatrughan "Shotgun" Sinha, a Bollywood star and judge on a hugely popular talent show. But fame may not help them. The Wall Street Journal tunes in.

"I go [to rallies] because I want to see them up close. But I don't trust them. They're actors," says a taxi driver. Plenty of celebrities have made it in politics in the past few years, though some have succumbed to scandal. Shotgun explains the allure of office: "Glamour has limited power, whereas power has unlimited glamour."