New Delhi, March 16 -- With the 2014 Lok Sabha elections just around the corner, politics seems to be the flavour of the season for celebrities from Bollywood and the sports fraternity.
Actor Mithun Chakraborty was among the first to join the fray this year, as he was picked by the Trinamool Congress (TMC) to represent the party in the Rajya Sabha.
Last week, actor Gul Panag, who is known for being involved with social causes, was chosen as the candidate of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) from Chandigarh. "The country is plagued with various issues... we are at a time where democracy needs to be more accountable and participative," Panag said during a press conference.
Indeed, most celebs say that they have joined politics to ring in change. Marathi actor-filmmaker Mahesh Manjrekar, who announced that he will contest the elections from Mumbai as a Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) candidate, said, "I am very happy today. This is the right time to take a plunge."
Meanwhile, Bhojpuri actor Ravi Kishan and actor Nagma have been fielded by Congress from Jaunpur and Meerut respectively. Bengali actors Moon Moon Sen and Biswajit Chatterjee are both contesting elections for TMC, though Sen will contest from Bankura in West Bengal, Chatterjee will be contesting from Delhi. Interestingly, even producer and actor Kamaal Rashid Khan (KRK) is contesting on a Samajwadi Party ticket.
And it's not just actors, even singers and sports stars are joining in. Singer Jaspinder Narula has joined AAP, while Babul Supriyo will contest on a TMC ticket from Bengal. Bappi Lahiri has joined BJP. "I found AAP to be the only party that talks of a corruption-free India," Narula told us.
From the world of sports, footballer Baichung Bhutia, hockey legend Dhanraj Pillay and cricketer Mohammad Kaif have also taken their first step in politics. While Bhutia is set to contest from Bengal as a TMC candidate, Pillay has joined the AAP, and Kaif has signed up with the Congress.