The TMC candidate list for 2021 Bengal polls is likely to be flooded with Tollywood stars. It is expected that principal opposition BJP will not fall behind. Observers said, `Mamata’s fight with BJP in 2021 might be in the shadow of the celluloid’. With celebrities and Tolly stars joining TMC and become candidates it may help Mamata avoid taintful allegations against her and the party.
TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee is expected to release a portion of the candidate list tomorrow or by 3 March. Mamata will meet the party’s 12-member election committee soon. As usual she will release the list from her Kalighat residence.
Of late, over 50 Tolly stars have joined or switched camps with TMC and BJP. Tollywood is now converted into a political venue although the seeds were sown a few decades ago as a cold fight between the Marxist dominated Left and non-Left in the form of Avinetri Sangha and Shilpi Sangsad.
Observers said, with Nusrat Jahan and Mimi Chakraborty winning as TMC MPs in 2019 Lok Sabha polls, it has lent a filip to other stars. Engaging Tolly stars as election candidates are not new in Bengal. On previous occasions CPM had selected Anil Chatterjee and Biplab Chatterjee as Assembly and Parliament candidates. After Mamata came to power in 2011 she followed it up with Deb (Dipak Adhikary), Tapas Paul and Moon Moon Sen.
Mamata’s engagement with Tollywood became complete when she also started designing TV serial players and stars from soap operas. Actor Indrani Haldar, June Maliya and even the one-time left oriented film actor and director Arindam Sil joined the Mamata team. With one- time Mamata fan and actor Rudraneil Ghosh changing camps to BJP and Prasenjit Chatterjee (Boomba) the Tolly super star raising voices against the government’s ways of functioning Tollywood vertically split into two.
Prasenjit or `Boombada’ as he is known to Tollywood however gave the BJP a miss when one of their lesser- known leaders made a failed attempt to bring him within the BJP fold.
Arup Biswas, Mamata’s coterie man and state minister seems to have developed an acrimony with the Tolly crowd with stars and celebrities like Payel Sarkar boldly joining the BJP camp. TMC’s youth wing leader in Tollywood Hiran Chatterjee is now in the saffron brigade.
The Covid-19 pandemic has devastated Tollywood with shootings and plays stopped for over 9 months. The crave for identity and publicity has vanished. To regain it, Tollywood stars could therefore be choosing the political path, especially with elections round the corner. Politics and elections to them have become a platform for mileage. While Mumbai stars are conservative in expressing their political opinions, in Bengal it is the opposite and a fashion. There could also be the lure for money.
To the sensible and few, politics in Bengal is now a non serious affair. While TMC might be trying to sail in the film boat to cross the election river, BJP might be on the move to increase its foot prints in Bengal. The big question , `will Mamata succeed’, if she does it is BJP’s end journey to Tollywood.
This news article is prepared or accomplished by Nirmalya Mukherjee in his personal capacity. The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the view of kolkatatoday.com