Trinamool Congress' Tollywood team a poll superhit

While the party utilised to the hilt the star power and glamour quotient of popular Tollywood personalities to notch up victories, the CPI-M on the other restricted itself only to a niche group of pro-Left intellectuals and artists.

National Award winning actress Debashree Roy, the party's glamourous face during the poll campaign, defeated veteran CPI-M leader and state sports minister Kanti Ganguly from Raidighi seat by a handsome margin of more than 5,000 votes.

Having acted in more than 100 films, she is best known for the role of a young doctor from a dysfunctional family in Rituparno Ghosh's Bengali film 'Unishe April' for which she won the National Film Award for Best Actress in 1995.

The biggest surprise came from 'political greenhorn' Bratya Basu whose maiden foray into the electoral stage unseated CPI-M heavyweight and minister Gautam Deb who lost in Dum Dum constituency by a margin of more than 30,000 votes.

Deb's diatribe against Trinamool made him a favourite among local TV channels, but that took him nowhere as he bagged only 61,138 votes against Basu's 92,635 votes.
Ever since Basu wrote the play 'Winkle Twinkle' attacking the policies of the Left Front in 2002, the playwright, director and actor has regularly raised political issues and had openly supported Mamata during her struggle in Nandigram and Singur.

"In politics, I am a soldier to ‘Didi’ (Mamata). On her call, I had decided to fight against the misrule of the Left Front. Now we will set things correct in the state," said the 42-year-old, who had directed the last year's Prosenjit starrer ‘Tara’ which reflected the Maoists struggle.

Tollywood superstar Chiranjeet Chakrabarti, on the other hand, became a ‘giant killer’ defeating his rival Sanjib Chattopadhyay (All India Forward Bloc) by a striking difference of 40,000 plus votes from Barasat constituency on the city’s outskirts.

"I went to the people as an ordinary person and not as a film star. I got their support as they could feel that I am also one amongst them," said the 50-year-old actor known for hits like 'Beder Meye Josna', 'Sedin Chaitramas' and 'Chore Chore Mastuto Bhai'.
Similarly in Hooghly district's Uttarpara constituency, singer Anup Ghosal defeated CPI(M)’s Dr Srutinath Prahraj by an astounding margin of 43,193 votes.

Known for lending his voice for many of Satyajit Ray's films, including 'Hirak Rajar Deshe' for which he even won the National Award in 1981, the 66-year-old had also sung the superhit 'Tujhse Naraz Nahi' in Shekhar Kapur's 'Masoom'.

However, a lone exception is folk singer Parikhit Bala, fielded by Trinamool Congress, who lost to CPI-M's Dhiren Bagdi by a close margin of 4318 votes from Sainthia constituency.
During the election campaign, none of the CPI-M leaders had taken services any filmstar whereas the last Lok Sabha election saw Mamata Banerjee’s move to field veteran film actors Tapas Pal and Satabdi Roy yield good returns. The duo are now party MPs.
Since then, most of the who's who of Tollywood has lent support to the maverick leader by appearing at various functions.

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