BOMBAY — With crucial elections set for early March, India’s beleaguered political parties have come up with a gimmick: They’ve convinced an impressive gaggle of film stars to run for office.The Tamil Nadu Party has wooed Rajnikant, the poor man’s most popular macho star, to stand in a south Indian constituency. Not to be outdone, the Samajwadi Party is talking to major star Chandrachud to represent their interests. The Congress Party has enticed ex-star Rajesh Khanna to come aboard — and bring along his glamorous, estranged wife and star, Dimple Kapadia, as well as their daughter, Twinkle, a fast-rising teen idol, to stump for him. Finally, the powerful Bhartiya Janata Party has landed screen siren Gautami as well as former star Vinod Khanna to run from one of its North Indian bastions. Khanna’s younger son, Akshay, a sort of Indian Brad Pitt, is being lassoed to campaign for his mom. Hordes of teeny boppers are expected to rally around Khanna and son at these whistle-stops, whipping up the kind of mass hysteria that campaign organizers usually only dream about.
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