Kolkata: In a star-studded Assembly election battle in West Bengal, in which both the ruling Trinamool Congress and the principal opponent BJP fielded more than a dozen actors and actresses as candidates, the trends seem to show that while the Trinamool has successfully reaped the advantage of stardom, the saffron party has failed to capitalise on the glamour quotient.
Tollygunge was considered by many as one of the toughest seats for the Trinamool, where the BJP fielded singer-turned-politician MP Babul Supriyo against seasoned campaigner Arup Biswas.
However, after 10 rounds of counting, Biswas was way ahead of Supriyo, taking a lead of more than 10,000 votes. With Biswas increasing the lead after every round, it seems that Supriyo is now fighting a losing battle.
In fact, all the major characters from the celluloid fielded by the ruling Trinamool Congress are maintaining lead in their respective constituencies.
In Barrackpore — an industrial town in North 24 Parganas district considered to be the fortress of BJP strongman Arjun Singh — Trinamool candidate and popular director Raj Chakraborty is leading against BJP’s Chandramani Shukla by a margin of nearly 4,000 votes.
Two other popular actresses — June Maliah from Midnapore and Sayantika Banerjee from Bankura — have maintained their lead against their respective BJP candidates.
Actress Sayani Ghosh, who is contesting from the Asansol South constituency from where Babul Supriyo had won in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, is ahead of BJP candidate and president of BJP Mohila Morcha, Aginmitra Paul, by a narrow margin. Similarly, popular actor and Trinamool nominee Kanchan Mullick is leading in the Uttarpara Assembly constituency in Hooghly district.
Not only Babul Supriyo, but the other BJP star candidates have also started showing trends of trailing in different constituencies across the state.
Locket Chatterjee — the sitting MLA from Hooghly who is now contesting from Chuchura — is trailing by a margin of more than 3,000 votes against Trinamool’s Asit Mazumder.
Similarly, Rudranil Ghosh, who had recently changed camps and joined the BJP, is trailing behind Trinamool veteran and state minister Sovondeb Chatopadhyay.
BJP’s Payel Sarkar, who is contesting from Behala East, is trailing behind her Trinamool rival Ratna Chatterjee, the estranged wife of former mayor Sovon Chatterjee.
Another popular actress Srabanti Chatterjee, who is contesting from the Behala West constituency on a BJP ticket, is behind Trinamool heavyweight and state education minister Partha Chatterjee.
Similarly, actor-turned-politician and BJP nominee Yash Dasgupta is trailing behind Trinamool’s Swati Khandoker in the Chanditala Assembly constituency in Hooghly district.
“People have given their votes in favour of the development programmes of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. It is not the candidates but the party that matters and the people believe that the Trinamool Congress will work for the people. That’s why all our candidates are emerging victorious,” a senior Trianmool leader said.