Why India’s political parties are turning to Bollywood for election candidates

Mumbai, India (CNN)For decades, Urmila Matondkar has enjoyed a successful career as a leading lady in Bollywood. In that environment, and as this election increasingly looks to be a close call, parties in recent weeks have sought to capitalize on star power — especially, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which had added a number of celebrities to its line-up. This month, Daler Mehndi, one of India’s most famous singers, joined the BJP. He follows cricketer Gautam Gambhir, actress Jaya Prada and singer Hans Raj Hans, who all recently joined the BJP to run in this cycle. When stars announce their campaigns, their first political rallies are almost guaranteed huge crowds, says Komal Nahta, film trade analyst: “They have that …