Karnataka Assembly elections could be still four months away, but the state is slowly getting into election mode, with all political parties screening the primary list of candidates.
Interestingly, many stars are being wooed to join parties, and buzz is that multilingual actor Kichcha Sudeep may take his political plunge.
DKS meets Sudeep
A couple of days ago, KPCC president DK Shivakumar called on Sudeep, triggering speculation that Sudeep might join the party. As per reports, the two met for dinner and are said to have discussed politics. Photographs of their meeting went viral and it was reported that Shivakumar had two different offers for Sudeep to join the party. However, both of them haven’t made an official statement about the discussion. Interestingly, Congress leaders from Delhi had also visited the actor at his residence a few weeks ago.
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As per sources, Sudeep’s co-star and politician Ramya, aka Divya Spandana, had invited a few Congress leaders to meet him. The Federal has learnt that the Congress leaders made several offers to the actor and requested him to join the grand old party.
Political parties often approach film stars to campaign for them, especially during the election season. Many A-list actors have campaigned during elections in the past. While Sudeep and Darshan have campaigned for various politicians across party lines, Shiva Rajkumar campaigned for his wife when she contested the Lok Sabha election.
For the last year or so, several politicians have made a beeline to Sudeep’s residence to convince him to join their party. Even though Sudeep has campaigned for various politicians, he has not shown an inclination towards any specific party.
Naik community votes
Is it just his stardom that makes Sudeep one of the most sought-after actors for politicians in Karnataka? Well, there’s more than what meets the eye.
Senior political journalist Vinay NA says, “Sudeep belongs to the Naik community, which plays a decisive role in nearly 40 constituencies in central Karnataka. Political parties feel that they can draw the community towards them by having Sudeep campaign for them or by inducting him into their party.”
There is another reason why all three major political parties want Sudeep on their team, said Vinay. “Sudeep can help increase the vote percentage. His fans, especially youngsters, will vote for him or follow his advice blindly due to his stardom. They will even get their friends and family to do the same. Not just that, Sudeep is well connected to stars outside the state as well. He can convince some of his colleagues from the Telugu film industry to come and campaign for him or the party he chooses to ally with,” he said.
“There will be people willing to fund his election expenses. Most importantly, Sudeep has a clean image. He has maintained his dignity at a personal and professional level. This will, in turn, help political parties build their image in front of their voters as well,” he added.
Interestingly, Sudeep is close to top politicians across the three major parties in Karnataka. He calls Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai as ‘mama’ (uncle in Kannada) on public platforms.
He shares a good rapport with former chief minister and opposition leader Siddaramaiah and is also close to Shivakumar. Former Chief Minister and JD(S) state Chief HD Kumaraswamy is also on good terms with the actor and the two were clicked having lunch at the latter’s residence during the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Several A-list stars are well connected to political parties and several actors have, over the years taken a plunge in Karnataka politics. This helps them represent the film industry in the Assembly. However, sources close to Sudeep claim that the superstar would like to stay away from politics.
Also read: Is Hindi national language? Actors Sudeep and Ajay Devgn slug it out on Twitter
An eye on the fan base
A source who is close the actor said, “Sudeep will not enter politics. He is an actor and that is his passion, bread and butter. Political parties want to take advantage of his stardom and his caste. If Sudeep enters politics and uses his caste card, he will lose millions of fans who belong to various other castes.”
“Sudeep is well aware of it and would not want to spoil his acting career for political gains. He might or might not campaign for certain politicians in the upcoming elections. It depends on various factors in future, but he has no intentions to join or lean towards one single political party,” he added.
With elections just around the corner, it will be interesting to see if Sudeep changes his mind and decides to take the political plunge this time around.