Bappi Lahiri kickstarts campaign, says ‘outsider tag is unfortunate’

Bappi addresses media at BJP party office in Kolkata, Thursday. (Express Archive) Bappi addresses media at BJP party office in Kolkata, Thursday. (Express Archive)

Singer musician-turned-politician Bappi Lahiri, BJP’s Lok Sabha candidate from Sreerampore, today kick-started his election campaign in the constituency. Asked if being pitched against political heavyweights was a matter of concern for him, Lahiri said: “When I started off in the Hindi film industry 40 years ago, there were so many big names already operating there. I not only survived but flourished as well. I believe in the almighty and I think only He can defeat me or help me emerge victorious.”

The BJP candidate said that Sreerampore has a number of temples and shrines that need to be developed.

“With the help of those (temples and shrines), I would turn Sreerampore into a tourist spot. I will also put up a music academy there,” he said, and claimed that it is almost certain now that party’s PM nominee Narendra Modi would form the next government at the centre. On talks that he is being considered an outsider, Lahiri, who cited Shyamaprasad Mukherjee and Swami Vivekananda as his “inspiration behind joining the BJP”, called it “unfortunate”. “There should be a fair fight, post which whatever people decide should be accepted. I respect (West Bengal Chief Minister) Mamata Banerjee. I look up on everyone. I don’t want to demean anyone by indulging in mud-slinging.”

Asked about the songs he would be singing during his campaign, the singer began to hum lyrics from his super hit film Disco Dancer.