9 Celebrity Politicians Of Nepal

Rajiv Prajapati
19th June 2022 Read time: 5 mins

Nepali actors and celebrities have a major tendency to try their luck in the all-encompassing sector of politics. However, most of us are less in the know about all the cross-migration that happens between the country’s glamour and political sectors. 


It’s difficult to pinpoint the exact reason for this trend. It could be that, having gained all the fame there is to gain in this country, they’re just looking for a bigger hill to climb. Or, it could be that they’re simply trying to leverage their fame to a greater success in the most popular human sector of the country.


In any case, here are 9 celebrity politicians of our country with dual identities in the field of arts AND politics. 


1. Komal Oli


Komal Oli was previously popular as a folk singer and even if you don’t recognize her — you might know her by her classic lyrics ‘Poila jana paam’. Well, she has obviously grown from those days and now is a part of Nepal Communist Party. She is currently serving as a member of the National Assembly.



2. Rabi Lamichhane


Rabi Lamichhane has shifted from being a beloved journalist that the whole nation trusted to now being a leader we all must trust. It came as a shock, but a pleasant one when Rabi announced his departure from Galaxy TV where he had been working for 2 years. In his announcement, he’s made it clear that he isn’t joining politics out of sheer will, but instead to give back to the society and the Nepali audiences. 



3. Balen


By now, Balen Shah must need no introduction. He’s a rapper, producer, engineer and now, the mayor of Kathmandu! The entire nation was overjoyed when he became elected as the mayor. Not only has he completely tripled the transparency existing in political meetings, he’s also rigorously working towards progress with complete support of the public. 


Balen let slip in a recent interview that he has greater ambitions in the political arena than just being the mayor of Kathmandu. However, he’s reluctant to share plans just yet, only going so far as to say that “all will be revealed in time”! He did hint that he might even start his own political party. 


View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Balen (@balenshah)


4. Rekha Thapa


One of the most successful Nepali actresses of the 2000’s, Rekha Thapa has always been interested in the political sector. Back in 2009, she became the talk of town after dancing together with Pushpa Kamal Dahal aka Prachanda. That must have been a strange crossover for Nepalis to witness. 



By 2013, she had already joined the CPN Maoists party. However, she was more fascinated with the political sector than with political principles. Later in 2016, she switched over the Rastriya Prajatantra Party, and has been affiliated with this till date. Not too long ago, she also aimed to win the position of General Secretary within the party but lost in the party election. 


View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Rekha Thapa, Actor/Director (@rekha.thapa)


5. Karishma Manandhar 


Karishma Manandhar is another major figure in the history of Nepali cinema. She was initially a member of the Naya Shakti Party, which was established by Dr. Baburam Bhattarai after he quit his longtime party, CPN Maoists. 


However, she left the party after some time. In recent years, Manandhar has had a public acquaintance with KP Sharma Oli, with meetings and occasional phone calls. 


Earlier this year, she officially joined the CPN-UML party and was welcomed into the party by its chairman itself, KP Sharma Oli. So sooner has she taken on the flag of a new party, a speech of hers went viral during the run-up to the local-level elections.


Manandhar famously told a crowd of listeners that her nwaran name, or her name given at birth, was Surya Kumari. She implied that affiliation with the CPN-UML party, which has the sun as its election symbol, is quite natural and even fated. 


View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Karishma Manandhar (@karishma_manandhar)


6. Neer Shah


Veteran actor of Nepal Neer Shah played a big role in the development of Nepal’s film sector. Although he cannot be heard making big speeches too often, he isn’t secretive about being a member of the Nepali Congress party. 



7. Rajesh Hamal


In recent days, even the mahanayak Rajesh Hamal hasn’t strayed too far from the political light. As unlikely political candidates like Balen Shah started to become popular, Rajesh Hamal released an unlikely vlog on YouTube.


A particular moment in the vlog, however, caught everybody’s attention. Hamal mentioned in passing, almost as a joke, if he himself should be the mayor of Kathmandu. There were many who wondered if the entire point of the vlog was to gauge the public’s reaction to his entry into politics.


Hamal ended up not joining the political life during this election cycle. But he hasn’t ruled it out entirely in the future.


View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Rajesh Hamal (@hamalrajesh)


8. Madan Das Shrestha


Madan Das Shrestha is one of the most versatile veteran actors of Nepal. The man has performed both comedic and dramatic roles with equal conviction, and is a director, playwright, and published poet too. And in the most recent local-level elections, he was also a mayoral candidate of Kathmandu from the Rastriya Prajatantra Party! 



9. Bhuwan KC


Bhuwan KC too sought to join the political fray during the local-level elections that took place some months ago. However, after trying his hand with a few different parties, he was still unable to secure a party ticket for the mayoral elections. KC even joined the Nepali Congress party this time around. 


He has expressed his desire to join politics time and again in the past. Back in 2013, he had tried ardently to get a party ticket to contest in the parliamentary elections through the CPN-UML party. He had failed back then as well.



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