When actresses turned politicians

They’re not content with just acting, and want to go beyond being reduced to pretty faces on screen. And so they decided to step into the pool of politics. Here’s a look at some of them…   

Hema Malini

In 1999, the Dream Girl campaigned for the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) former actor candidate, Vinod Khanna. From 2003 to 2009, the actress served as an MP to the Rajya Sabha. In March 2010, she was made general secretary of the BJP. In 2014 general elections, the Southern beauty was elected to Lok Sabha. Currently, she is a member of Parliament from the Mathura constituency.

Smriti Irani

She became one of the biggest stars in the history of Indian television, thanks to her role of Tulsi Virani in Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi. Irani joined the BJP in 2003 and was appointed its national secretary in 2010. In 2011, she became a Rajya Sabha MP. Despite some unsuccessful outings, she manuevered her way up steadily in politics. In 2014, Smriti was appointed as the Minister of Human Resource Development. Two years later, she was heading Ministry of Textiles. Last year, she took charge of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.     

Ramya

This Southern beauty has done Kannada, Tamil and Telugu films and has won awards for her performances. Not content with just acting, Divya Spandana (her actual name) joined the Indian Youth Congress in 2012, and became a member of the parliament from Mandya constituency in Karnataka. Last year, the 35-year-old was given the task of reviving the Indian National Congress’s social media wing and was made national head of the party’s digital team.

Cynthia Nixon

She’s the latest celebrity turned politician. Though she has featured in many movies and TV shows since the ’80s, Nixon became a household name after she bagged a pivotal role  in the series Sex And The City, where she essayed Miranda Hobbes, a lawyer. She received an Emmy Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award for her performance. In the past, Cynthia has campaigned for same-sex marriage before the US Supreme Court ruling in favour in 2015 and fundraised for a former New York City mayor in 2014. Recently, the actress announced her campaign for governor of New York (no, she’s not related to the former American President Richard Nixon). The 51-year-old actress is committed to fighting for causes like economic disparity among citizens, health care, and mass incarceration. We’re keeping our fingers crossed for her big win.    

Khushboo

The Southern actress, who began acting in movies since childhood, has appeared in over 200 films in Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada, Telugu and a few Bollywood films too. Her real name is Nakhat Khan but she’s known by her screen name Khushboo. She joined Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) in 2010, but quit the party in 2014. But she wasn’t done with politics yet… She joined Indian National Congress in 2014, and is currently the national spokesperson of the party. 

(Jaya Prada, Gul Panag, Jaya Bachchan, Kirron Kher and Nagma)

Nagma

The former actress has been a part of several Telugu and Tamil movies, some Bollywood, Bhojpuri movies and in Punjabi as well. After flirting with politics since 2006, she took the plunge in 2009 contesting in the General Lok Sabha Elections. In 2015, she was appointed the General Secretary of All India Mahila Congress.

Kirron Kher

This veteran actress joined the BJP in 2009, and the party declared her as the Lok Sabha candidate from Chandigarh for the general elections in 2014, and she won it. Ever since she became a Member of Parliament in 2014, she keeps busy with the work related to her constituency, Chandigarh.

Jaya Prada

The veteran actress has starred in Telugu, Tamil, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Bengali and Marathi movies. She quit films at the peak of her career and entered politics by joining the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in 1994. However, due to differences with the party leader, N Chandrababu Naidu, she exited the TDP and later joined the Samajwadi Party (SP). She contested from Rampur parliamentary constituency in UP during the 2004 general election and got elected. She was re-elected in 2009. However, she was expelled from SP after she sided with Amar Singh. In 2017, she made a comeback to Southern cinema with a Tamil and Malayalam film. 

Gul Panag

Gul is a former beauty queen, model, actress, producer and activist. She was the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate from Chandigarh for the general elections in 2014. 

Jaya Bachchan

In 2004, the veteran actress was first elected as a Samajwadi Party member of parliament. The Rajya Sabha MP got re-elected for the fourth term last month.