Not Neena Gupta but THIS actress was initially shortlisted for Panchayat's Manju Devi role

Not many people know but Panchayat's popular character Manju Devi, eventually played by Neena Gupta, was initially being thought with another actress. Know what happened.

Updated on Jun 16, 2024  |  06:08 PM IST |  94K
Not Neena Gupta but THIS actress was first shortlisted for Panchayat's Manju Devi role (Image: IMDb)
Not Neena Gupta but THIS actress was first shortlisted for Panchayat's Manju Devi role (Image: IMDb)

Panchayat is ruling hearts and how! This TVF show has won our hearts over the years and is currently streaming its third season. One might call it a rare phenomenon but almost every character in the show enjoys an equal fanbase and it’s a win-win for all these brilliant stars who were waiting for a long time to get their due.

Among many is also veteran actress Neena Gupta who plays the character of Manju Devi in the series. But did you know that someone else was initially shortlisted for this iconic role?

Who was the first actress shortlisted for the role of Manju Devi in Panchayat?

Seasoned actress Sunita Rajwar who plays the role of Kranti Devi in Panchayat’s second season was the makers' first shortlisted artist for the said role. During her appearance on a recent episode of Digital Commentary, Sunita herself revealed that she had auditioned for the role and was even shortlisted.

She said in Hindi, “I was very happy because when I was briefed with the outline of the show and was told that I would be starring opposite Raghubir (Yadav) sir so that was a kind of greed for me because Raghubir sir is my senior and is both a wonderful actor and a human being.”

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She later recalled meeting her ‘friend’ Neena Gupta at her house where the Vadh actress enquired about TVF’s work culture from Sunita. When the Gullak actress told Neena that it’s been great with her, she found herself dumbstruck after knowing that Neena had been offered the same role first being discussed with Sunita. 

“When I confronted this to casting people, they said things were still in process but eventually, Neena only played the character”, Rajwar shared.

After the release of Panchayat season 1, Sunita happened to ask the makers what went wrong. They revealed not knowing initially whether Neena would agree to do this role or not because she was a big name and unlike everyone else they also wanted to bring big names and great actors on board.

“We took a chance with her and it worked out”, they told Sunita. However, they soon approached Rajwar for the character of Kranti Devi and it was no less than ‘sone pe suhaga’ for her.

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ALSO READ: Gullak 4’s Sunita Rajwar says ‘dhang ka kaam nahi mil raha tha’ as she recalls quitting acting; reveals being typecast in maid roles

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About The Author

Aditya Sagar is an Entertainment Journalist who holds a true-blue Bollywood heart and has his ears tuned to the

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Credits: Digital Commentary
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