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Published On: Thu, Jul 18th, 2019

Bengali TV stars from Bengal joined the saffron BJP

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2019_7$largeimg18_Thursday_2019_200300521NEW DELHI/ KOLKATA: A galaxy of TV stars from Bengal joined the BJP today, delivering what is seen as a blow to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress in a fierce political turf war between the two parties.
Thirteen actors travelled all the way from Kolkata to Delhi and embraced the BJP’s saffron and green scarves in the presence of the media. “It is risky to join the BJP in Bengal these days,” said BJP’s Bengal chief Dilip Ghosh, alleging that his party members were being intimidated and harassed by the state’s ruling party.

“We bow to their courage, that in these circumstances they can even think of joining us,” Mr Ghosh said, the actors standing behind him.

The new recruits — Rishi Kaushik, Parno Mitra, Kanchana Moitra, Rupanjana Mitra, Biswajit Ganguly, Deb Ranjan Nag, Arindam Halder, Moumita Gupta, Anindya Banerjee, Sourav Chakravorty, Rupa Bhattacharya, Anjana Basu and Kaushik Chakraborty – are well-known faces in the world of Bengali TV series and films.

They are pitched as the BJP’s answer to the Trinamool’s celebrity first-time MPs Mimi Chakraborty and Nusrat Jahan, who have made quite an impact in their parliament debut.

BJP leaders also hope the new recruits will give the party an edge in the perception battle in Bengal, where the race for the 2021 assembly elections has already begun.
Mamata Banerjee, in the past, has picked several winners from the Bengal entertainment industry aka “Tollywood” – Shatabdi Roy, Tapas Pal, Sandhya Roy and Deb. The BJP seeks to beat the Chief Minister using her own strategy, collecting every possible face in its bid to win over Bengal.
In the national election, Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool received a stunning blow, winning 22 of Bengal’s 42 seats compared to the BJP’s 18.
Ghosh chose the occasion to accuse the state’s ruling Trinamool Congress of “harassing” those who join the BJP, and said it has become “risky” for people to join his party. This is why the BJP organises joining ceremonies for personalities from West Bengal outside the state, he said, adding these actors deserve credit for their “courage”.
Welcoming the 12 actors into the party fold, Ghosh said the people in the state are inspired by the leadership and development work done by PM Narendra Modi. BJP leaders Rahul Sinha and Sambit Patra were also present as the actors were inducted into the party.

Ghosh alleged that many councillors who had quit the TMC to join the BJP are being harassed, adding that 17 municipal council members from Darjeeling have not been able to visit their homes after joining his party. Some others have been “forced” to rejoin the TMC, he claimed.
Several state leaders, including MLAs, from other parties have also joined the BJP since its impressive show in the recent general elections. The saffron party won 18 out of the 42 Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal.(With Agency Inputs ).

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