Lok Sabha elections: In a country where cricket, cinema and politics are no less than religions in themselves, mixing of any of the two is almost a natural course of action.

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Sunny Deol today joined the Bharatiya Janata Party, making an official entry into the league of celebrities who took the political plunge. By joining the BJP, Deol follows into the footsteps of his father Dharmendra and stepmother Hema Malini.

However, in a country where cricket, cinema and politics are no less than religions in themselves, mixing of any of the two is almost a natural course of action.

With the crucial Lok Sabha elections underway, political parties are looking to cash in on star power. Last month, actors such as Urmila Matdokar and Shilpa Shinde joined the Congress and the trend continues with other political parties too. This being an election year, the BJP too has seen several high-profile entries by celebrities.

Here are the celebrities who joined the BJP ahead of elections:

Isha Koppikar

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In January 2019, Isha Koppikar joined the BJP and was appointed the president of the BJP’s women transport wing. She is best known for films such as ‘Company’, ‘Pinjar’, ‘Darna Manah Hai’, ‘Dhoom’ and ‘Don’.

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Jaya Prada

Former Samajwadi Party (SP) MP and actor Jaya Prada joined the saffron party in March 2019 and has been fielded as the party’s candidate from Rampur Lok sabha against senior SP leader Azam Khan.

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Nirahua – Bhojpuri actor and singer

Dinesh Lal Yadav, better known as Nirahua, joined the BJP in March 2019 in the presence of UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. Nirahua is contesting against SP chief Akhilesh Yadav from Azamgarh Lok Sabha seat.

Gautam Gambhir – former cricketer

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Former cricketer Gautam Gambhir, who has been named as the candidate from East Delhi, joined the BJP in March 2019. The former Indian cricketer has played all formats of the game. With millions of followers, Gambhir has always been vocal about his opinions the social issues of the day on social media.

The former opening batsman has also been conferred with India’s fourth highest civilian honour, the Padma Shri award thsi year and also received a congratulatory letter from PM Modi.

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Jawed Habib – hair stylist

It’s not just Sunny Deol. This week also saw celebrity hair stylist Jawed Habib entering the Bharatiya Janata Party fold. At the time of his joining, he said, “Aaj tak main baalon ka chowkidar tha, aaj mein desh ka chowkidar ban gaya hoon.” (Till now, I was the watchman for hair and now I have become the watchman of the country).

The celebrity hairstylist’s entry into the BJP has also spawned many memes on social media.

Moushumi Chatterjee – veteran actor

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Chatterjee joined the ruling BJP in January 2019. Notably, she had contested the general election as a Congress candidate in West Bengal in 2004.

The 70-year-old Bengali actor has been seen in a number of Hindi and Bengali films in the sixties and seventies, and was last seen in the critically acclaimed Irfan Khan and Deepika Padukone-starrer “Piku”.