Jive to the peppy songs of Disco King Bappi
Lahiri and Bollywood crooner Babul Supriyo, enjoy free live performances of
Bengali cinestar Deb and yesteryear’s glamour queen Moon Moon Sen, or come
under the spell of magician P.C. Sorcar (Junior) — welcome to the colourful
political landscape of Bengal.
It is literally raining celebrities in the
Reigning Bengali matinee idol Dev, Lahiri,
Supriyo and Sen are among the large number of celeb candidates who will be
trying out their electoral fortunes in the coming Lok Sabha elections. From
sporting icons to theatre personalities, actors and singers, politics in Bengal
– long associated with blood and violence – is now daubed in glamour and glitz.
Trinamool's celeb candidates
The ruling Trinamool Congress has stolen a
march over the others in the sheer number of celebrities it has fielded at the
hustings. Representation of eminent citizens from all walks of life sets the
Trinamool Congress apart from rest of the parties.
The likes of Sen, actors Sandhya Roy, Satabdi
Roy and Tapas Pal besides Dev as well as country’s soccer greats Bhaichung
Bhutia and Prasun Banerjee are seeking the people’s blessings on the
Trinamool’s ghasphool symbol.
Not surprisingly, the advent of the stars
has created a buzz among the voters. Accustomed to watching seasoned politicos
making mundane speeches, they are now making a beeline to watch the icons in
flesh and blood.
With the celebrities set to call upon their
brethren for canvassing and endorsing them, people are in anticipation of a
glitzy electoral affair this time around. The prospect of seeing their role
models within grasping distance has created a flutter among the masses
especially in rural areas.
Bhaichung Bhutia campaigning in his constituency
The common man is ecstatic seeing the stars
descend on their backyards as they hit the campaign trail.
Opinions are also divided among the
electorates, while some feel stars – always conscious of their public image –
will not indulge in scams or corruptions, others are of the view that they are
unaware of ground realities and may not be able to raise pertinent issues.