Kolkata, Apr 16 UNI | 3 months ago

West Bengal seems to have been star-struck as an array of celebrities contest the Lok Sabha polls, making it a show of glamour and glitz this time.

Even though a couple of film stars got elected to Parliament on Trinamool Congress ticket in 2009, the number of celebrities --from sporting icons to a theatre personality, a magician to a music composer and singers, besides a host of film stars-- entering the arena of electoral politics in 2014 is much more than what the state ever witnessed.

While the ruling Trinamool Congress has stolen the march over others in the number of celebrities it has fielded, BJP gearing up itself for giving a serious fight, is also not far behind.

Trinamool, which successfully fielded Tollywood hero Tapas Pal and Shatabdi Roy in 2009 polls, added to the list of its celebrity candidates by nominating Bengali film matinee idol Dev, celluloid actresses Moon Moon Sen and Sandhya Roy besides, theatre personality Arpita Ghosh, singer Soumitra Roy and football icon Bhaichung Bhutia.

Former captain of the Indian football team Prasun Banerjee, who got elected to the Lok Sabha in a by-election on a Trinamool Congress ticket, also defends his Howrah seat.

While Tapas and Shatabdi contest respectively from Krishnanagar and Birbhum constituencies, Dev or Dipak Adhikari (his real name), the number one action hero in today's Bengali film has been fielded in Ghatal where his campaign has recorded an instant hit drawing thousands of people, especially youngsters on his trail.

Moon Moon Sen, the daughter of legendary actress Suchitra Sen, who recently passed away, fights eight time winner Basudeb Acharia from Bankura and Sandhya Roy, a popular heroine of yesteryears, contests from Medinipur.

Theatre personality Arpita Ghosh, who took an active role in opposing the land acquisition move in Nandigram during the regime of the previous Left Front Government, is the Trinamool candidate from Balurghat constituency.

Soumitra Roy, the earthy singer, who leads the popular Bengali band Bhoomi, has been nominated by the Trinamool Congress to contest from Maldah North constituency, while former India football captain Bhaichung Bhutia has been given ticket to fight it out for the prestigious Darjeeling seat.

BJP pulled off a great surprise by roping in celebrated music composer-singer Bappi Lahiri, whose road shows in Sreerampur constituency are drawing huge crowds.

Crooning 'De De Pyer De Pyar De' or any of his blockbuster numbers on the streets of Sreerampur, the portly man wearing a sun glass and gold ornaments has been sweating out, wooing voters in the mid summer days.

Another celebrity BJP has roped in is Bollywood singer Babul Supriyo, who fights the election from Asansol, making a serious effort in his electoral debut.

Bengali actor Joy Banerjee also contests the election on BJP ticket, taking on his Tollywood fellow Shatabdi Trinamool Congress, who is the present incumbent.

BJP has also fielded eminent actors George Baker and Nimu Bhowmik, respectively from Howrah and Raiganj.

But perhaps the greater stir the party has caused is by nominating magician P C Sorcar (Jr) from Barasat constituency, where he draws huge crowds with his inimitable oratory.

Sorcar or not, who of these celebrities will ultimately conjure up victory, is now a million rupee question.

The state will go for five phase polls on April 17, 24, 30, May 7 and 12.

(Posted on 17-04-2014)