Stars which shone and some which blinked out in WB polls

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Kolkata, May 18: Film stars, football icons and singers contested the Lok Sabha polls in West Bengal in a departure from parties fielding seasoned politicians, but they had a mixed luck.

One of the biggest upsets was the defeat of nine-time MP Basudeb Acharia of CPI(M) from the Bankura constituency at the hands of rookie Moon Moon Sen, yesteryears filmstar.

The actress, known for her glamour quotient, defeated Acharia by 97,511 votes. But as she herself had put it prior to the polls to PTI, "It is mainly Mamata Banerjee and the party. I have just added two per cent to that".

Reigning cinestar Dev and yesteryears actress Sandhya Roy won from Ghatal and Midnapore seats respectively in West Midnapore district, where the local body elections were swept by the TMC in 2013.

Satabdi Roy and Tapas Pal, who were sitting TMC MPs from Birbhum and Krishnagar in South Bengal, retained their seats. It was a case of mixed fortunes for TMC's star candidates in North Bengal with band singer Soumitra Roy losing in Malda North, while thespian Arpita Ghosh won the Balurghat seat in South Dinajpur district, where the party had a strong organisation.

A former soccer star Prasun Banerjee, who had won the Howrah constituency in a byelection in 2013 for the TMC, was renominated and won the seat by a comfortable margin.

A star, who stopped the Trinamool Congress juggernaut in south Bengal, where it secured 30 of the 31 seats, was singer Babul Supriyo of the BJP.

Riding the Modi wave, he won from Asansol, an industrial and mining area with a large Hindi-speaking population, defeating TMC's Dola Sen, a trade union leader.

Former India football captain Bhaichung Bhutia, however, could not wrest the Darjeeling seat for TMC, as BJP's S S Ahluwalia won with support of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha.

Political considerations were more effective than Bhutia's star attraction for the voters in the constituency, where three Assembly segments were in the hills and four in the plains.

TMC's singer contestant Indranil Sen was trounced by a massive 3.5 lakh margin by Congress state president Adhir Chowdhury in Baharampur. Musician Bappi Lahiri, known for his love for gold ornaments, could not win the Sreerampur seat for BJP, despite Narendra Modi addressing a huge election meeting there.

Magician P C Sorkar, who has held shows all over the world, met the same fate in Barasat as a BJP nominee.

Though people thronged his meetings and roadshows, where Sorkar even performed, it did not convert into the required numbers as he came third with sitting TMC MP Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar retaining the seat and the CPI(M) candidate coming second. BJP, which also fielded cine actors George Baker (Howrah), Joy Banerjee (Birbhum) and Nimu Bhowmik (Raiganj), failed to make any gains and all three lost.

PTI

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