The Trinamool Congress has fielded actress and 'giant slayer' Moon Moon Sen in Asansol, the seat of BJP's playback singer-turned-politician Babul Supriyo
West Bengal’s Asansol is set to witness a ‘cinematic’ fight in the Lok Sabha elections.
On March 12, Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress announced its list of 42 candidates for the general election in the state. Film actress Moon Moon Sen would contest from Asansol, it was announced. Sen is one of the 17 women to be given a ticket by the party in the state.
Sen, a sitting Member of Parliament (MP) from West Bengal’s Bankura constituency, was called a ‘giant slayer’ after she defeated Communist Party of India (Marxist)’s senior leader Basudeb Acharia by nearly one lakh votes. Acharia had held the Bankura seat from 1980 and served as the leader of CPI(M)’s Parliamentary Party in the 15th Lok Sabha.
Reacting to Sen’s candidature from Asansol, the sitting Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP and Union Minister Babul Supriyo tweeted: “Mamata ji always presents me with SEN-sational opponents in Asansol Elections... Dola SEN in 2014 and Moonmoon SEN in 2019!"
Sen is known for her work in Bengali, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Marathi and Kannada films, besides staring in Bollywood films. Supriyo on the other hand is known for being a playback singer. Starting in the 1990s, Supriyo primarily sings in Bengali and Hindi.
While the BJP has not officially named Supriyo as their candidate from Asansol, he is widely expected to be retained by the party.
In 2014, Supriyo had defeated TMC’s Dola Sen by over 70,000 votes. He was one of the two BJP candidates to win in the state in that election. Before Supriyo won in 2014, Asansol was a CPI(M) bastion. The Left party had held the seat from 1989.
The BJP is trying to make inroads into West Bengal to offset some of the losses it is expected to make in the ‘Hindi-heartland’. The move to field ‘giant slayer’ Sen from Asansol is being seen as Banerjee’s attempt to block the BJP juggernaut in the state.
West Bengal will head for polling in seven phases. Voting in Asansol will be held on April 29.
The Election Commission too is set to add a ‘cinematic’ touch to the general election. According to a report by The Times of India, the poll panel will shoot 12 documentaries named ‘Ek Dojon Goppo’ -- after Satyajit Ray’s celebrated collection of 12 short stories -- and showcase them on the streets of North Kolkata. The voter turnout in Kolkata North was significantly lower than the state’s average voter turnout, prompting the EC to take this step.Click here to keep track of latest developments in the run-up to the 2019 general elections