Political U-Turn: Actor Govinda Joins Eknath Shinde’s Shiv Sena After 14-Year Vanvaas

The 60-year-old actor Govinda has joined Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde’s Shiv Sena faction ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

Govinda with Eknath Shinde
Actor Govinda has joined Eknath Shinde’s Shiv Sena.

Fourteen years ago, Bollywood luminary Govinda asserted that politics was not his calling and deemed his foray into it a “significant misstep.” It was in 2012, five years after parting ways with the Congress party, that Govinda made waves with this revelation. “Joining politics was a grave error… it was never my forte,” the actor declared.

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However, breaking his political hiatus on Thursday, the 60-year-old joined Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde’s Shiv Sena faction ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. Citing the “pristine aura” of the Shiv Sena Shinde faction as his motive for reentering politics, Govinda lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s development initiatives and expressed his willingness to contribute to the arts and culture sector if given the opportunity.

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Drawing a parallel between his return to politics and the ‘vanvaas’ (exile) in the epic Ramayana, Govinda, whose full name is Govinda Ahuja, stated, “I was in politics from 2004 to 2009. It is coincidental that I am returning to politics after 14 years.”

Commending CM Shinde for his developmental endeavors in Maharashtra, Govinda expressed confidence that the progress witnessed nationally over the past decade would be mirrored in the state. Regarding Govinda’s affiliation with the Sena, the CM remarked, “My government is committed to development and the welfare of the people, and he was impressed with its policies.”

Although the chief minister did not specify whether Govinda would contest from the Mumbai North-West Lok Sabha seat, he clarified that the actor had not imposed any conditions and was solely interested in advocating for the film industry, not seeking an election ticket.

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Reflecting on Govinda’s departure from the Congress, it was revealed that in 2009, despite the party’s central leadership’s willingness to nominate him for the Mumbai North seat in the Lok Sabha elections, internal adversaries hindered his candidacy. Allegations of inaccessibility surrounded Govinda during his tenure as an MP.

His notable 2012 statement, made at the World Marathi Literary Meeting, underscored his detachment from politics, emphasizing that it was never ingrained in his family or himself. Nevertheless, Govinda’s return to politics in 2024 marks a significant turnaround from his previous convictions.

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