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Monday, Dec 06, 2021
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Calcutta Corrner

Virtually the whole of Tollywood is now officially part of the Trinamool Congress.

Calcutta Corrner
Calcutta Corrner
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Tolly-Mool Congress?
Virtually the whole of Tollywood is now officially part of the Trinamool Congress. If you thought that TMC chief and Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee had more or less milked the Bengali film industry dry last time, when she roped in close to half a dozen stars to contest the last Lok Sabha and Bidhan Sabha elections in 2009 and 2011 respectively, this time she seems to have depleted it completely.

This week when the TMC announced its list of candidates for the upcoming Parliamentary elections, it read like the cast list of some Bengali commercial flick. From Dev (the Shah Rukh Khan of Bengali commercial cinema) to Moon Moon Sen (daughter of Suchitra Sen, Bengal’s Greta Garbo), they are in and contesting the elections. Scoring the music for this electoral docu-drama are at least two Bengali musicians, including Indranil Sen, who have also been given TMC tickets by Didi. The TMC anyway already resembles a mini-movie set with such stars as Tapas Paul (yesteryear’s Dev) and Satabdi Roy (who, like Moon Moon Sen, had been paired opposite Tapas Paul in several movies) having been sent to Parliament on TMC tickets and actress Debashree Roy to Assembly.

Now with the introduction of more film stars it seems to be gradually becoming the film industry itself. Last heard", former actor Biswajit Chatterjee (father of actor Prosenjit Chatterjee) claimed that he was approached to by the TMC to contest a seat from a Delhi constituency on a TMC ticket. All the world’s a stage and all the MPs and MLAs merely actors.

Magical and Musical MPs
But TMC is not alone. The BJP too has scoured the horizon in Bengal for that odd celebrity, in the wild hope that their famous names would rake in the votes. From musician Bappi Lahiri to magician P.C. Sorcar Junior to actor George Baker, the BJP has got the rest of them covered. Perhaps it is time to be concerned about the state of the Indian Parliament if it is crammed with so many film stars and other celebrities, who have little or no experience of politics or legislation, and  we can all therefore forget about serious governance. With political parties roping in celebrities bank on their glam quotient to woo voters, political debates are raging across the state as analysts and observers point out that MPs and MLAs whose first priorities are not politics and who have other commitments, will hardly deliver the goods to their constituencies.

Left will be Left
Leading this charge against the recruitment of celebrities are none other than the Communists in Bengal, who are openly scoffing at the fielding of so many celebrities as candidates. “It’s ridiculous", ” sniggered a Left leader, looking at the TMC list of candidates. But the celebrity candidates are not the only grouse that members of the Left have against their political rivals. There are other issues. CPI(M) strongman Sujan Chakraborty held an open air campaign session at Jadavpur, the constituency he is contesting from, where he questioned the TMC’s decision to field as their candidate from this constituency, Professor Sugata Bose. Bose, "who belongs to the family of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose (he is the son of Netaji’s nephew Sisir Kumar Bose and former MP Professor Krishna Bose). Chakraborty pointed out that Professor Bose, who is teaches at Harvard, "was most of the time out of the country. “How would he look after the needs of the people of his constituency? he asked the gathering. Good question. But then how much time do the MPs and MLAs who are present in India spend in their constituencies to look after the needs of its people?

Holy Trinity

First the West Bengal Chief Minister said that she had no problem working with her Tamil Nadu counterpart if the latter became the Prime Minister after the elections. "I have no problem. I don't bother about the chair, I care for the people," Banerjee told a news channel when asked whether she would give support to Jayalalithaa if she wanted to be the prime minister. And now Amma has called up Didi, clearly not to discuss the price of onions. TMC MP Sultan Ahmed seemed very optimistic: "The telephonic conversation between Jayalalithaa and Mamata Banerjee, the two political superpowers of southern India and eastern India is an indicator that the Federal Front is a growing force. It will grow with every passing day." With Didi having also named behenji Mayawati as another PM contender, we certainly seem to have some interesting times ahead.

Writing on the Wall
Wall graffiti is back! In Bengal, including the last Lok Sabha polls of 2009, political graffiti had been banned in Calcutta by the Election Commission. The 2008 EC order was hotly contested by all political parties but it remained in place throughout the period continuing up to the state elections of 2011. But this year, no sooner has the names of candidates been announced have political parties pounced on the city’s clean walls

Word on the Street
Supporters of Trinamool:
“Congress o CPM…Eki brintey duti phool…Trinamool, Trinamool.”
(The Congress and the CMP are one and the same…the only hope is Trinamool)

Supporters of CPI(M): “Bangla ke phiriey nao…ei chinhey chhap dao.
(Reclaim Bengal by putting your stamp of vote on - sickle and hammer - symbol)"

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