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After MLA roles,Napoleon ready for ‘real power’

In a film career spanning 18 years,he has never acted as a minister. Now that’s what he will get to do in real life....

Written by Manoj C G | New Delhi |
May 29, 2009 2:09:19 am

In a film career spanning 18 years,he has never acted as a minister. Now that’s what he will get to do in real life and Kumaresan Duraisamy is pretty excited about the ‘power’ that he will have.

Movie buffs in south India know him as D Napoleon,their favourite filmstar. After taking oath as a Minister of State on Thursday,he is the only actor-turned-politician in the Manmohan Singh Cabinet.

“I have played the role of an MLA twice but never got a chance to portray a minister,” says the 45-year-old DMK MP,who stopped accepting negative roles when his political career began blossoming.

After acting in over 90 films in all the four south Indian languages,Napoleon understood the limitations of being a movie star. “In films,we only entertain. But as a minister,you can serve the people,” he told The Indian Express after taking the oath.

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Having decided to stop acting till his term in the Lok Sabha ends,Napoleon admitted that politics was all about power. “With one signature you can turn around things. A minister or an MLA or an MP has power. Whatever job is given to me,I will try to do my best,” he added.

So did he ever think of becoming a Central minister when his party asked him to contest from the Perumbalur Lok Sabha seat? It was,in fact,a comeback of sorts for Napoleon,who had lost the Assembly election from Mylapore last time. He had tasted success in Assembly polls in 2001. “During campaigning,people raised slogans like ‘future-minister Napoleon zindabad’. But I had never thought that I would get a chance to become a minister. I told them,elect me,even if I don’t become a minister many would-be ministers are my friends and I will ensure that Perumbalur gets its due share,” he said.

Napoleon wears three hats simultaneously. A popular actor and now a politician,he is also a successful entrepreneur. Jeevan Technologies,a software firm he floated in 2000 with four computers and 10 staff,has a global presence now.

He began his political career in the late 1980s as a personal assistant to his uncle K N Nehru,a Tamil Nadu minister at that time. In 1991,at the age of 27,he made his debut as an actor portraying a 60-year-old in a Bharathi Raja movie.

Will his appearance change after becoming a minister? No,says Napoleon. The handlebar moustache will stay so will his penchant for wearing trendy clothes and his interest in photography and sports. And he will surely try to brush up his Hindi which he can speak only “thoda thoda”.

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