HD Deve Gowda brought NT Rama Rao (NTR) to campaign for his Janata Dal party in Karnataka, even when the latter was not in power. NTR, flanked by his wife Lakshmi Parvathi, drew crowds in lakhs to the then-Janata Dal campaign meetings in Karnataka.
Such was the charisma of NTR, who was the Chairman of National Front. The Front coalition formed the first non-Congress and non-BJP government at the Centre between 1989 and 1990 and the Prime Minister was late VP Singh.
Now in this 2014 Lok Sabha election, parties throughout India are roping in star campaigners to woo votes. Here are 10 major campaigners of different political parties, who are campaigning rigorously to attract voters.
Narendra Modi: Tipped by opinion polls to become the next PM of India, Narendra Modi, is perhaps the busiest politician who is addressing the maximum number of election campaigns for the BJP. Modi is scheduled to address 185 public meetings in more than 295 Lok Sabha constituencies in the country.
Sonia Gandhi: For Congress, Sonia Gandhi is the crowd puller, especially for the masses. She won the 1999 Lok Sabha election from Bellary constituency in Karnataka by contesting against BJP's Sushma Swaraj. Also, when SM Krishna was the Chief Minister, she drew lakhs of voters to the public rally she addressed in the district. Such is the popularity of the scions of the Nehru-Gandhi family in the country.
LK Advani: Though Modi has been in the limelight in this Lok Sabha election as BJP's prime ministerial candidate, Advani is also to address election rallies in this general election. Advani was the Deputy Prime Minister to Atal Behair Vajpayee between 5 February 2000 and 22 May 2004. He has also served as Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha, Home Minister and Minister of Coal and Mines and Minister of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions.
Arvind Kejrival: The Aam Aadmi Party convenor has announced that he will contest against Modi in Varanasi of Uttar Pradesh. Riding on an anti-corruption movement of Gandhian Anna Hazare, Kejrival won election to the Delhi Assembly and became Chief Minister but resigned after 49 days. He protested against political parties for not supporting the passage of anti-corruption legislation in the assembly and resigned as CM. Now, he has fielded AAP candidates nation-wide and is the star campaigner of the party.
Rahul Gandhi: Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi has been projected as the youth icon of the party. Rahul, besides his mother Sonia, is addressing election campaigns in this general election. He has been scheduled to address two public meetings in Odisha's Nabarangpur and Koraput districts on 31 March.
J Jayalalithaa: As general secretary of AIADMK and Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Jayalalithaa is addressing election campaigns on behalf of her party candidates in TN and Pondicherry. It is said that she is nursing the ambition to become the Prime Minister of India. Besides her chief ministerial power, Jayalalithaa's film career, prior to her political entry, helps her to attract mass crowds in Tamil Nadu.
Chandrababu Naidu: For Telugu Desam Party, after NTR, N Chandrababu Naidu remained as the undisputed leader. However, in the changed equations of Andhra Pradesh politics in the backdrop of the state's division into Telangana and Seemandhra, TDP's position is varied but not bad when compared to Congress. In fact, Naidu, a close relative of the NTR family, is likely rope in Telugu hero actor Balakrishna and Junior NTR as star campaigners during the canvassing in this election to the state assembly and Lok Sabha.
Chiranjeevi: Having earned the "mega star" label from his fans, Chiranjeevi, the Union Minister, is supposed to attract large crowds for the party in this election. Even the party has aptly appointed him as the chief of poll campaign committee. Now he is addressing election campaigns in AP seeking votes for Congress.
Vijayashanti: The actress known as "Lady Amitabh Bachchan" is the hope of Congress in Telangana to woo voters, after the party was ditched by Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS). Now Congress may utilise the glamour quotient of Vijayashanti not only in Telangana but also in the Seemandhra region, in this election to the state Assembly and Lok Sabha.
Moon Moon Sen: Moon Moon Sen, who has acted in both Bollywood and south Indian films, has joined Mamata Banerjee-headed Trinamool Congress. She has been vigorously campaigning for the party in West Bengal. She is also contesting from Bankura constituency in this 2014 general election.