Their party says their popularity make them good choices as Lok Sabha candidates. Detractors point to their lack of prior participation in politics and question how involved they will be if elected. Two days after the Trinamool Congress’s list of candidates was announced, the inclusion of Tollywood actors Mimi Chakraborty and Nusrat Jahan has led to much discussion, especially on social media.
The two actors are among six famous personalities who will contest the Lok Sabha election on TMC tickets. They have been nominated for two important seats — Jadavpur and Basirhat. The choice of the two candidates has led to a flood of reactions on social media platforms, both positive and negative.
Chakraborty started her campaign on Wednesday, accompanied by state Public Works Minister and Tollygunj MLA Aroop Biswas. “Now that (Mamata) didi has given me this opportunity to work for the people of Bengal and shown so much of trust in me, I will definitely give my best,” she told The Indian Express. Born in Jalpaiguri in 1989, she began her career in the Bengali film industry in 2012. Click here for more election news
When asked about comments that she was joining politics at a “young age”, Chakraborty said, “It’s high time we youngsters join the system to change it. If young people don’t join politics, who should?”
While the actor has in the past attended cultural events held by the TMC and the state government, this is her first foray into active politics.
In allocation of some seats, a focus on mass popularity
While it is not new for the Trinamool Congress to nominate some popular faces for elections, the choice of seats allotted to some of them is significant, as they are likely to face a strong fight from the BJP in those constituencies. Basirhat, where Nusrat Jahan is the TMC candidate, has seen incidents of communal violence and is dominated by a Hindi-speaking population. Asansol, where BJP’s Babul Supriyo is the current MP, is where Moon Moon Sen will contest. It too has seen incidents of communal violence, and has a significant Hindi-speaking population. It is likely that the TMC is counting on the popularity of these candidates to try and gain an edge while contesting against the BJP for these seats.
“It will pick up further with time. Mimi has just started, however, people are very positive towards her. All Assembly segments will be covered. Mimi has tremendous popularity in the rural belt as well,” said Biswas.
Jadavpur was the constituency in which Mamata Banerjee had defeated Somnath Chatterjee in 1984. Leaders such as Krishna Basu and her son Sugata Basu were also MPs from the seat. It was also former CM Buddhabed Bhattacharjee’s constituency. The Left, Congress and BJP are yet to announce their candidates for Jadavpur, where CPM’s Sujan Chakraborty was defeated by Sugata Bose in 2014.
Basirhat candidate Nusrat Jahan said she has always seen Mamata as a “true example of women empowerment”. Her constituency, which has seen communal disharmony in recent months, is seen as a tough seat to win. The TMC is likely to face competition from the BJP, which is hoping to win Basirhat.
“I have always supported didi, for me she is a true example of women empowerment . She told me to go and win and I am here to do so. I have promoted my films by interacting with people. Now, I will talk about things I believe in,” said Jahan at the TMC office in Madhyamgram. Jahan started her career as an actor in 2011 and is now considered one of the most popular faces of the industry.