While several artistes and celebrities have joined Punjab politics to add their bit of star power to election campaigns, not everybody had been successful. The newest entrant this time is popular and controversial singer Sidhu Moosewala, who joined Congress last week.
Amidst reports that Moosewala could contest from Mansa in Malwa region, residents have already put out an 11-point agenda comprising works that the singer needs to do despite a candidate list being finalised.
Looking at the past, not many singers and actors, who have taken the plunge, have performed well on the electoral battlefield. Punjabi actor and comedian Gurpreet Ghuggi and singer-actor Jassi Jasraj, who joined parties and contested elections, were not too successful.
Ghuggi shot to limelight in his short-lived political career when he joined the Aam Aadmi Party in 2014. He was the convenor of the state unit of party but was soon replaced by comedian-turned-Sangrur MP Bhagwant Mann. After that, Ghuggi not only quit AAP but relinquished politics and never looked back.
Jasraj, too, had a short and an unsuccessful stint. In 2014, he joined AAP hoping to carve out a niche for himself but soon he crossed over to join the Punjab Democratic Alliance (PDA) launched by AAP rebel and now Congress leader Sukhpal Khaira. Jasraj contested unsuccessfully from Sangrur from PDA and thus decided to stay away from active politics.
But not all hold a bad report card. Mohammad Sadiq, a famous Punjabi folk singer, surprised everyone when he decided to jump into the fray and won the assembly elections in 2012 by defeating Akali leader Darabari Singh Guru on a Congress ticket. His political career continued to remain on an upswing, and at 79, he still stands strong and is a Lok Sabha MP from Faridkot. He remained a successful MLA from Bhadaur from 2012 to 2017.
Though Mann has never been able to showcase any of his governance skills, he has been in politics since 2014. Having won two consecutive Lok Sabha elections, the former stand-up comedian known for his statements always managed to remain in the headlines for both right and wrong reasons. This time, he is hoping that AAP would declare him as the chief ministerial face of Punjab.
Other celebrity who had been successful in Punjab was former actor Vinod Khanna from Gurdaspur.