Kangana Ranaut: Bollywood actress to contest elections after joining Modi's BJP party

The actress is known for her controversial statements

Dubai, UAE. August 31, 2015 - Lead actress Kangana Ranaut speaks during a press conference for the Bollywood film Katti Batti at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Dubai, August 31, 2015. (Photo by: Sarah Dea/The National, Story by: Ujala Ali Khan/Arts and Life) *** Local Caption ***  SDEA310815-katti_batti11.JPG
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Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut, a staunch supporter of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, will contest the coming elections as a candidate for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.

Millions of voters in India will begin casting their votes on April 19 in a seven-phase general election that will continue until June 1.

Ms Ranaut, 37, is the only Bollywood actress in recent times who has taken a plunge into politics. She is known for her vocal support for Mr Modi and the BJP’s Hindu nationalist politics.

The actress has been given a party ticket from her home state of Himachal Pradesh, which will head to the polls on June 1.

She will run for election in the constituency of Mandi, her birthplace, she said on X.

“I feel honoured and elated to officially join the party. I look forward to be a worthy karyakarta [worker] and a reliable public servant,” Ms Ranaut said.

She has won several awards for her acting skills, including the highly coveted National Awards a record four times. She is also a recipient of the Padma Shree, India’s fourth-highest civilian award given for distinguished service in any field.

However, she has been at the centre of several controversies in the film industry, as well as delving into political and global matters.

She met Israel's ambassador to India in a show of solidarity after the October 7 attack by Hamas, which she called a “terrorist organisation”.

Ms Ranaut was also criticised for saying India’s independence from the British in 1947 was an act of “alms” and that India had only received its freedom in 2014 when Mr Modi first came to power.

She has had many run-ins with her co-stars in the industry, often calling them the products of nepotism.

The actress has also been accused of spreading misinformation on social media. Her account was banned by X, known as Twitter at the time, for repeated breaches in 2020. It was reinstated last year when Tesla chief executive Elon Musk took over the platform.

Updated: April 08, 2024, 11:00 AM