Star charisma doesn’t work in Karnataka, poll results show

By R.G. Vijayasarathy, Gaea News Network
Saturday, May 16, 2009

BANGALORE - The results of the Lok Sabha elections in Karnataka have proved beyond doubt that the glamour of film stars doesn’t work in the political arena as has been evident in the neighbouring states of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.

In Karnataka, all the three film personalities - Ambareesh, Ashok and C.P. Yogeeshwar - have failed to register victory despite belonging to the much established national parties.

The biggest shock came when Ambareesh, the Congress Party candidate who had won the Mandya parliamentary seat three times in succession, lost to N. Cheluvara Swamy of the Janata Dal-Secular as the results were declared Saturday.

‘The Karnataka electorate has given a clear verdict that they care for the performance of a parliamentarian than being impressed by star value and filmy charisma. Ambareesh won all the elections till he performed well. But when his disinterest became evident, he is voted out. This should be a lesson to all the other artists who bank on their star charisma,’ said Sadashiva Shenoy, a political analyst.

Another political analyst from a leading newspaper said: ‘The Karnataka electorate has time and again shown that they don’t want to support non-serious candidates even if they chose to contest from big political parties.

‘That is the reason why actor Jaggesh lost his first assembly elections from Turuvekere constituency, but won the same seat after five years by convincing his electorate that he is determined to be in politics and serve the people.’

The defeat of a big star like Ambareesh in the Mandya constituency has clearly proved that film glamour doesn’t work in elections.

Ambareesh always hoped to make it big in politics. He was certainly a shining star of the Congress Party as he had won three elections from the Mandya constituency. But his defeat has once again established that people of Mandya wanted him to be more serious and dedicated to represent them in parliament.

Actor-legislator C.P. Yogeeshwar, who had won all the assembly elections first as an independent candidate and then as the Congress candidate, has been routed in the elections in Bangalore Rural Parliamentry constituency.

He joined Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) just a few days before filing the nominations. And despite BJP winning in many constituencies of Bangalore, Yogeshwar lost it to the former chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy.

‘Kumaraswamy’s victory in the elections was a foregone conclusion as much as the victory of H.D. Deve Gowda. The margin of victory has clearly shown that even the opposition parties like Congress and BJP had not taken the contest seriously,’ said Shenoy.

Actor Ashok, who is also the president of the Karnataka Film Workers Federation, had contested from the Tumkur Lok Sabha seat on a Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) ticket. He too lost.

Only Chiranjeevi and his Praja Rajyam Party have delivered a stronger performance in Andhra Pradesh. Meanwhile, Tamil actor Vijayakanth’s DMDK has played spoil sport dashing the hopes of former actress and AIADMK Chief Jayalalitha’s dream of securing a sweep in Tamil Nadu.

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