Kolkata/Basirhat: Popular Bengali actress Nusrat Jahan, fielded by West Bengal’s ruling from Basirhat for the LS poll, is drawing huge crowds during her election campaign. She seems to be in an advantageous position over rivals but could face a close call if developments in the Muslim-dominated constituency cast a shadow.
The Tollywood heartthrob, who is pitted against seasoned politicians like BJP’s Sayantan Basu, CPI’s Pallab Sengupta and Congress contender Qazi Abdur Rahim, has put her best foot forward since the first day of her campaign, mingling with party workers, interacting with her fans and even singing popular numbers from her movies for them.
Tell me who will win this time? Can we be rest assured that it will be victory for Didi and Trinamool Congress,” she asked a jam-packed crowd at Basirhat’s Sarberia during a party workers’ meeting.
“Till now you have seen me on the silver screen. Now I have come to be with you and fight together,” the filmstar said. During her rally in Minakha, Nusrat, clad in cotton sari and sans any make-up, asked people what would be the margin of her victory.
“Three lakhs,” shouted the crowd, many of whom were busy clicking pictures of their favourite star on their cellphones. Asked her to sing from her films, the actress obliged by humming a few lines from “Love Express” 2016, where she was cast opposite Tollywood superstar Dev (Deepak Adhikari), another Trinamool candidate in the 2019 polls.
Basirhat Lok Sabha constituency was a stronghold of the Communist Party of India (CPI) for three decades during Left Front rule. The legendary CPI leader Indrajit Gupta was among the party candidates who tasted victory from the seat in North 24 Parganas.
Political observers believe the huge Muslim population – anywhere between 47.8 and 62% – has given an initial advantage to Nusrat with the contest becoming a virtual duel between the Trinamool and the BJP. “The Muslim votes could go en bloc to her, though a section of the rural Muslim society, very conservative in nature, is not very happy with Trinamool’s choice of candidate,” said political analyst Udayan Bandopadhyay.