Mamata's win with Tollywood's star support

Mamata Banerjee
Kolkata, May 14: Trinamool Congress' smart strategy to deploy the Tollywood brigade, comprising a film director, an actor, an actress and a singer, in the assembly elections in West Bengal has paid handsome dividends.

While the party utilised to the hilt the star power and glamour quotient of popular Tollywood personalities to notch up victories, the CPI(M) on the other restricted itself only to a niche group of pro-Left intellectuals and artists.

National Award winning actress Debashree Roy, the party's glamourous face during the poll campaign, defeated veteran CPI(M) leader and state sports minister Kanti Ganguly from Raidighi seat by a handsome margin of more than 5,000 votes.

Having acted in more than 100 films, she is best known for the role of a young doctor from a dysfunctional family in Rituparno Ghosh's Bengali film ''Unishe April'' for which she won the National Film Award for Best Actress in 1995.

The biggest surprise came from ''political greenhorn'' Bratya Basu whose maiden foray into the electoral stage unseated CPI(M) heavyweight and minister Gautam Deb who lost in Dum Dum constituency by a margin of more than 30,000 votes.

Deb's diatribe against Trinamool made him a favourite among local TV channels, but that took him nowhere as he bagged only 61,138 votes against Basu's 92,635 votes.

Ever since Basu wrote the play ''Winkle Twinkle'' attacking the policies of the Left Front in 2002, the playwright, director and actor has regularly raised political issues and had openly supported Mamata during her struggle in Nandigram and Singur.

"In politics, I am a soldier to Didi (Mamata). On her call, I had decided to fight against the misrule of the Left Front. Now we will set things correct in the state," said the 42-year-old, who had directed the last year's Prosenjit starrer "Tara" which reflected the Maoists struggle.

Tollywood superstar Chiranjeet Chakrabarti, on the other hand, became a "giant killer" defeating his rival Sanjib Chattopadhyay (All India Forward Bloc) by a striking difference of 40,000 plus votes from Barasat constituency on the city's outskirts.


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