Across the past few weeks, numerous actors from the Bengali film and television industry have entered the Trinamool Congress (TMC). Film stars and artists from the artistic world, who have been regulars at Mamata Banerjee’s extraordinary events are now entering the party. Beyond the last seven days, veteran Bengali actor Deepankar Dey, popular actor Koushani Mukherjee, popular TV actors Bharat Kaul, Sritama Bhattacharjee, and Ranieeta Dash joined the TMC.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has expressed honestly about her love for film and television artists. She also claims to be a follower of daily Bengali TV soaps and openly encouraged the right association of people from all platforms of life in politics. The relationship between film stars and the TMC goes long back. One of the early inductees to the party when it was created was Tapas Paul, a Bengali matinee icon of the late ’80s and ’90s. Paul won as an MLA in 2001 and then became a Member of Parliament from Krishnanagar for two terms.
Satabdi Roy and Deboshree Roy, two very famous actresses of the same time as Tapas Paul, also linked TMC. Satabdi Roy battled the 2009 general elections from Birbhum and is still the obligatory MP. Deboshree joined TMC in 2011 and contested the legislative Assembly seat from Raidighi defeating Left heavyweight Kanti Ganguly. She grasped it for the second term in 2016. During the 2014 general elections, Mamata Banerjee surprised a huge part of Bengal when she announced the entry of Deepak Adhikari or Dev into her party. Dev is supposed to be the biggest matinee icon in the Bengali film industry since 2010. He contested the seat of the Ghatal MP, succeeded by an enormous margin, and also held it in the 2019 general election.
Two other veteran actresses from two distinct periods gave their entry into politics by TMC in 2014. Moon Moon Sen, a remarkably popular actress in not only Bengali but also Hindi and Malayalam, and daughter of legendary Suchitra Sen, obviously the most popular actress in Bengal was made to contest the 2014 elections from Bankura. She won but failed to Babul Supriyo in the 2019 general elections from Asansol.
The same election witnessed the entry of another legendary actress, Sandhya Roy. Roy, who is recognized for her motherly roles in dramatic films, contested from Midnapore in the 2014 general elections. Soham Chakraborty, another actor extremely famous as a child artist, also joined the TMC in 2014. Chakraborty contested the 2016 West Bengal Legislative Assembly election from Barjora but was beaten by the Left Front candidate. He is currently the Vice President of the All India Youth Trinamool Congress.
By the 2019 general elections and Mamata Banerjee once again amazed a huge division of the state when she announced that two of the most popular concurrent actresses in Bengali cinema were joining the TMC. Nusrat Jahan and Mimi Chakraborty, who have a large following, were selected to contest two tough seats. Both accomplished. The joining of film stars in electoral politics to win seats is not a new sensation or is not restricted to one party. A famous face with a mass following comes with ultimate importance for any political party during an election. The TMC has initiated a lot of new faces from the world of films and television, but the question, however, continues whether all of the inductees will be selected to contest the 2021 elections or not.