Oneindia: Why did you decide to contest the election? Was it a long-term plan to join politics?
Soumitra Ray: No, didi (TMC chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee) asked me to contest the election and I took the offer. She had given me the offer long ago, saying that my reputation as a singer would help me. I belong to Malda and didi found potential in me to do good. I had shown concern over my singing career but did assured me that it would not be affected.
Oneindia: Have you started your campaign in your constituency?
Soumitra Ray: Yes, I have already begun campaigning. I am based in Malda for 45 days now. Mamata Banerjee will address a rally here today and I will also be present there. I have been attending party meets and the local leaders of the party are helping me to know more and more people.
Ray, singer of a popular band, said he is confident to win the election
Oneindia: Your constituency is a stronghold of the Congress. The Left is also a force here. Are you confident of doing good?
Soumitra Ray: Yes, why not? The more powerful the opponent, the more interesting is the battle. (The family of late Congress leader and Union minister ABA Ghani Khan Chowdhury is a influenctial one here). The sitting MP, Mausam Benazir Noor, is the niece of Ghani Khan Chowdhury. She defeated Sailen Sarkar of the CPI(M) by over 60,000 votes in 2009).
Oneindia: A number of celebrities have been fielded as candidates by your party this time. What do you think about their prospects?
Soumitra Ray: They will do good. Celebrities are human beings after all and they can also serve the people.
Oneindia: What do you think about the recent rally in New Delhi where Anna Hazare and Mamata Banerjee were supposed to address jointly? Was it a blow for the party?
Soumitra Ray: I can't comment on the party's policy.