Bangalore: The filing of nomination papers for the Karnataka Assembly elections begins on Wednesday. With barely a month to go for the polls, political parties are all set to add 'star power' to their election campaign. The Bharatiya Janata Party has roped in Kannada actress Tara a for now, but the party is pulling out the big guns closer to the elections by bringing in Hema Malini and Smriti Irani in the last fortnight ahead of polling.
The Congress too has its own army of stars with actors like Ramya and Bhavna. Veteran actor Ambareesh is also on board and will contest from the Mandya constituency. Telegu superstar Chiranjeevi, too, will be injecting his dose of stardom by campaigning for the Congress in constituencies on the Karnataka-Andhra Pradesh border.
"Cinema stars, cricket stars bring in the oomph factor and create a general morale. They're booster doses and they create momentum in favour of many parties," Congress MLA Krishna Byregowda said.
Pooja Gandhi, an A-list Kannada actor, takes on her third political avataar with the 2013 polls campaigning for mining magnate B Sriramulu's BSR party. The actress had entered politics by joining the JD(S) in 2012, switching over to BS Yeddyurappa's Karntaka Janata Party and then quitting as she felt sidelined.
With such a slew of stars descending on to the election battleground, parties are having to deal with a tug-of-war over tickets. Not to be left behind, the Election Commission too has roped in filmstars like Puneet Rajkumar and Aindrita Ray to urge people to vote in the coming elections.
But will the journey from 'abhineta' to 'neta' be an easy one? For all the 'star' campaigners in Karnataka, May 5 will be the real test of their political fortunes.