This has been a key aspect of the party’s election strategy since it came to power in 2011. This, even as Tapas Pal, a veteran actor from Tollywood and Lok Sabha MP from Krishnanagar, wasn’t given a ticket due to his failing health, said sources.
The list includes Nusrat Jahan, who will contest from Basirhat and Mimi Chakraborty who will contest from Jadavpur, while Shatabdi Roy and Dev (Deepak Adhikari) and Shatabdi Roy will look to retain their seats in Birbhum and Ghatal, respectively.
Veteran actor Moon Moon Sen will fight against BJP minister and Bollywood singer Babul Supriyo from Asansol.
According to a TMC Rajya Sabha MP, the inclusion of film celebrities serves a dual purpose. The leader said, “There is of course our welfare measures. The party contests elections on the basis of our governance. But these stars can help amplify that.”
“They also draw crowds. Not just in their constituencies, but also in adjacent seats where they might campaign. People flock in large numbers, especially in the rural belts, to catch a glimpse.”
A brief look at the Tollywood celebrity-turned-TMC candidates
An actress and model, she will contest elections for the first time in 2019. Nusrat made her screen debut with Raj Chakroborty’s Shotru and later appeared in Khoka 420. She did her schooling from Our Queen of Missions School in Kolkata and then completed her B.Com from the city’s Bhawanipore College. She has also acted in Sondhe Namar Agey with Rahul Bose.
Active in Bengali cinema since 2008, Mimi was born in Jalpaiguri after spending her childhood in Arunachal Pradesh. She finished her graduation in English literature from Ashutosh College in Kolkata.
After a brief stint in modeling, her acting career began in earnest in 2008. However, it was her role in Gaaner Oparey, a tele-serial that catapulted her to stardom. The story revolved around a girl called Pupe (played by her) from an orthodox Tagore-worshiping family and Gora, a talented musician who’s interested in experimenting with Rabindrasangeet. The show marked the beginning of a year-long celebration of 150th birth anniversary of Tagore.
Dev or Deepak Adhikari
Reportedly the highest-paid Bengali actor, Dev is also a producer, singer and film writer. He has his own production house and is a veteran politician in his own right.
Since making his film debut in 2006, the 36-year-old has won many accolades. But it was his star power that ensured his victory when he fought off veteran CPI leader Santosh Rana and Congress’ Manas Bhuniya in 2014. Dev garnered 6,85,122 votes and defeated Rana by a margin of 2,60,939 votes.
Moon Moon Sen
With credits in Bengali, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Marathi and Kannada films, Moon Moon Sen joined the Trinamool Congress in 2014. Sen, the daughter of legendary Bengali actress Suchitra Sen and Dibanath Sen, the great grandson of the Diwan of Tripura, finished her graduation from Somerville College in Oxford and did her post-graduation from Jadavpur University.
After making her cinematic debut in 1984, she began a second career in politics 30 years later. In 2014, she defeated CPI(M)’s nine-time MP Basudeb Acharia from Bankura.
A film director, actor and poet, Roy began her career in Bengali cinema with her screen debut in 1986. A recipient of the Bengali Film Journalist Association Awards twice, Roy has been a Birbhum MP since 2009.
She shot to stardom after successive pairings with Tapas Paul – also a TMC colleague – in films like Amar Bandhan (1986), Garu Dakshina (1987), Antaranga (1988), Apan Amar Apan (1990) would become massive hits in the state.