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The Harpers go Bollywood in GTA battleground

Tory Leader Stephen Harper's wife, Laureen, dances with Bollywood star Akshay Kumar prior to the Canadian premier of his filme Thank You at a campaign event in Brampton, Ont., on April 8, 2011.

Sean Kilpatrick/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Stephen Harper added some Bollywood star power to his campaign Friday in what was definitely the flashiest event for the Tory Leader so far.

The Conservative Leader appeared at a Brampton, Ont., movie theatre to rub shoulders with Bollywood superstar Akshay Kumar, an Indian performer with a huge fan base in Canada.

Mr. Kumar's arrival was greeted by adoring and shrieking fans.

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The film star offered an effusive endorsement for Mr. Harper before a debut showing of his new movie - a gesture the Tories are hoping will help them win Greater Toronto Area seats with big Indo-Canadian communities.

The event, for instance, took place in the riding held by Liberal incumbent Ruby Dhalla.

It's the third time Mr. Harper has made a campaign stop in Brampton since the writ was dropped.

Mr. Kumar dedicated his new movie, titled Thank You, to Mr. Harper, praising him for building greater ties with India.

Mr. Harper, a big movie buff, said he relished the opportunity to watch the film, which is set in Vancouver.

"You get to do a lot of great things as prime minister ... but this is the first time I actually got to do one of the things I like doing most, which is to watch movies - to sit and watch a movie with one of the stars of the movie."

He noted Mr. Kumar's good looks, saying "my wife says he's not too hard the eyes."

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The highlight of the campaign stop, though, was Laureen Harper's brief Bollywood dance number with Mr. Kumar.

She learned the steps by watching video clips "on Youtube," Mrs. Harper said.

"Isn't he wonderful? He's handsome and wonderful and very nice."

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About the Author
Parliamentary reporter

Steven Chase has covered federal politics in Ottawa for The Globe since mid-2001, arriving there a few months before 9/11. He previously worked in the paper's Vancouver and Calgary bureaus. Prior to that, he reported on Alberta politics for the Calgary Herald and the Calgary Sun, and on national issues for Alberta Report. More

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