Mamata Banerjee’s popularity may help movie star Dev steal the show in Ghatal
WEST MIDNAPORE: When Mamata Banerjee announced reigning Bollywood star Dev as party’s candidate for the Ghatal Lok Sabha constituency , located 150 kms away from Kolkata, many saw it as the potent weapon to wrest the seat from the Left Front that had dominated the precinct for decades. Once dominated by Maoists, Ghatal in West Midnapore district today is witnessing peace for over two years now since the Banerjee-led government cracked down on the Left Wing extremists after bringing an end to 34-year-run of the CPI (M)-led regime.
West Midnapore comprises of two more constituencies Midnapore and Jhargram. But today areas like Ghatal and Lalgarh boast of roads that are comparable with national highways . And this has contributed to the expanding presence of TMC and its growing organizational strength in the district, including Ghatal. While numerous wall graffiti of Dev and few from opposition can be seen across the Ghatal, the poll fervor is surprisingly missing. Election fever or a wave is never the characteristic of this or the neighbouring Midnapore and Jhargram constituencies , according to the villagers. “What matters here is the organizational strength and the current ruling party in West Bengal has the required strength to sailBSE -0.08 % through,” one of the villagers said. While Dev’s main challenger , Santosh Rana of the Communist Party of India (CPI), is busy with a party meeting , the movie actor has so far attended one meeting.
He is currently shooting for a Bangla movie – ‘Yodha’ at a film city in Chandrakona, not far from Ghatal town.
The movie star plans to begin campaign from the coming Sunday and is banking on his popularity and party’s strength. Four of seven constituencies under Ghatal currently have TMC MLAs.