Betting only on Narendra Modi will not help BJP, says TMC candidate from Asansol southern constituency
New Delhi / Calcutta: There is no vanity van, no roadshows, no bikes or cars either. During the scorching and humid Bengal summer, she has walked the narrow lanes of rural areas in Asansol South constituency for the past three weeks and has been door-to-door asking for votes. Comfortable in a sari and sneakers with mandatory sunglasses and a petite actress eye makeup artist turned TMC candidate, Saayoni Ghosh has already become popular among residents of the southern constituency of Asansol.
This time, Calcutta University graduate Ghosh takes on BJP candidate and fashion designer Agnimitra Paul. With the increasing summer heat, the political heat of the heavy Assansol South seat of the West Bardhaman district is also increasing.
Ghosh is a household name among movie buffs in Calcutta and Bengal. She has worked on a number of web series and films, but her audience is considered to be limited to Kolkata.
“I felt like I always had a very specialized audience. But after coming here and launching the campaign, my opinions changed completely. I get an overwhelming response. I never knew that so many Calcutta people love and appreciate my job so much, ”says Ghosh after completing his one-day campaign.
Celebrities joining political parties and fighting elections are nothing new across India. In addition, in Bengal the trend is constant and this year TMC and BJP, led by Mamata Banerjee, have given tickets to many celebrities. Ahead of the 2021 election, a wave of celebrities joined both parties. It seems that the Bengali film industry popularly known as Tollywood has been divided mainly between two political camps.
Ghosh says, “Mamata Banerjee has given me a lot of responsibility and, interestingly, I’m adjusting to this new journey in a pretty organic way. Just that the first is reel and the second is real.”
In her low-key campaign, she is still seen binge-feeding with people and talking to people quite easily, taking blessings from the elderly and even playing cricket with the kids in her constituency. In the midst of these hectic campaigns, she’s also always ready to click selfies whenever people approach her. “Khela Hobe” (the match will take place) is her favorite slogan, as is TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee.
Ghosh says, “I continually engage with people and listen to their issues. Access to clean water is a key issue in the region and my priority would be to address this issue.”
It is considered that after winning the election, celebrities return to their life of light, camera and action and do not work for the people. Ghosh disagrees with such a stereotype and says that whether it’s a politician or a celebrity turned politician, only time will speak of work.
“I have a feeling I’m going to be a full time politician. When you meet people with real problems like roti, kapda, makan, bijli, sadak, pani, shiksha, swasth so the cinema really looks larger than life. But playing continues to be close to my heart. I would like to work on a project if it is worth my time because my people are worth every minute of my life, ”she says.
After the fork, Asansol Sud was a stronghold of the TMC. In the last two consecutive elections, TMC leader Tapas Banerjee won the seat. On the other hand, Asansol Lok Sabha constituency is with the BJP and the deputy is Central Minister of State Babul Supriyo who is also fighting the election of the Tollygunge constituency assembly of Bengal.
Asansol is a Hindu-dominated region and according to the latest census it has around 75% of UK Time News population and 21% of the Muslim population. Although the BJP has its Member of Parliament, the seats in the Assembly are in the TMC and the CPM.
On March 26, 2018, the Asansol riot broke out due to a procession by Raam Navami. This time, the BJP did not announce any chief ministerial faces for Bengal. However, the BJP claimed that the chief minister would be a “Bhumiputra” (son of the soil).
“The outcome of Lok Sabha’s election does not matter. The election of the Assembly is played out on local issues. The BJP only counts on the face of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Only the fact of betting on Modi will not help in this election and in the long run for the BJP, ”says Ghosh.
Prior to joining politics, Ghosh was also a vocal critic of the BJP. The BJP has repeatedly criticized Ghosh, and supporters repeatedly trolled her over an old tweet that allegedly hurt people’s religious feelings. According to a media report, “the former governor of Tripura and leader of the BJP of Bengal Tathagata roy filed a police complaint against actor Saayoni Ghosh for allegedly hurting the religious feelings of Hindus through a message on Twitter. “
As this matter came to light, Ghosh not only deleted this tweet, but also apologized. In a social media post, Ghosh wrote: “At the time I was made aware of this [the post], I strongly criticized it and deleted it immediately after informing the public about it. I never meant to hurt my own feeling religion,” she said.
Further, according to a media report, “Responding to Tathagata Roy, Saayoni Ghosh said she was deeply saddened by the”bullying“and that the alleged post was uploaded in 2015 without his knowledge.”
Ghosh says, “I have always talked about social and political issues. But I realized that to fight these forces, it is important to be in professional politics because you have to go out and face the reality on the ground. And once you’ve given it a chance or a choice, it’s now or never. “
Even after Ghosh was announced as a candidate, her own opponent at the BJP headquarters, Agnimitra Paul, also recently made derogatory comments against her.
Ghosh says, “No one can go too far in putting others down and that is true for the BJP here in this context. They cannot go too far with such comments. In Bengal, the BJP has no agenda to fight the election The only thing BJP knows is to distract and divide is what they are trying.
In the last Lok Sabha elections, 41 percent of the TMC candidates were women and this time also in the Assembly elections, Mamata gave tickets to around 50 women. Women are also considered the main electoral base in Mamata Banerjee. However, on the other hand, from the BJP leader of Bengal to other leaders, the BJP has made many controversial comments against women, including Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee during the election campaign.
Ghosh says, “Didi (Mamata Banerjee) has always supported the importance of women in every area of society and politics. The BJP is far behind. The BJP has neither representation of women nor respect for women. women. It’s more words and less work. “
Confident of her victory, she says local TMC leaders stand side by side with her during the campaign and help her increase her reach.
Since nothing is static or defined in politics and life, from reel life to the real battlefield, Ghosh’s travel destination will be determined by the people of South Asansol on April 26 (poll date).
The author is a fellow of the Delhi Assembly Research Center and a freelance journalist who writes on governance and policy issues. The author can be reached at @sayantan_gh