Two senior politicians from India's powerful Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party hastily sought safe backup seats after learning they could face election challenges from movie stars.

Lal Krishan Advani, a leading light in the party, filed his nomination for a seat representing the western state of Gujarat when he heard that film idol Rajesh Khanna would oppose him in his New Delhi district as a Congress Party candidate.Former Foreign Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee registered his nomination in Madhya Pradesh state when superstar Amitabh Bachchan suggested he would oppose him in Lucknow, also for Congress.

About 30,000 candidates have filed nomination papers for India's general elections.