The BJP sees it as an attempt by the Mamata Banerjee-led TMC to attract minorities
The Bharatiya Janata Party has moved to the Election Commission of India alleging violation of the Model Code of Conduct after the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress roped in Bangladeshi actor Ferdous Ahmed to campaign for its candidate in West Bengal. Ferdous Ahmed was spotted campaigning for TMC’s Kanhaiya Lal Agarwal, the Raiganj Lok Sabha candidate in North Dinajpur district on Sunday.
The campaign sparked a row giving the BJP a chance to question the presence of a foreign national in a political campaign in the country. Ferdous particpated in a road show alongside other Tollywood actors in Karandighi, Raiganj, Hemtabad and Raiganj.
The saffron party has alleged that the presence of a Bangladeshi actor is a violation of the model code of conduct and saw it as an attempt by the Mamata Banerjee-led TMC to attract minorities which could play a strong factor in North Dinajpur. As per the 2011 Census, Muslims constitute 49.92% of the population while 49.31% are Hindus.
“It is illegal. We want action against Trinamool and have moved to the Election Commission,” BJP leader Pratap Banerjee was quoted as saying by the Indian Express.
“How can a foreign national (Ferdous) campaign for the TMC. Tomorrow, they will invite Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan to campaign for the TMC. We (BJP) condemn this, as a Bangladeshi film star should not be a part of India’s biggest democratic festival. The TMC is scared of us and hence bringing foreign actors here,” state BJP president Dilip Ghosh fumed.
The BJP has also complained to the EC asking it to look into the matter. However, an official of the commission, on condition of anonymity, told The Indian Express, “Nothing specific is mentioned in the code of conduct about a foreign national.”
The TMC defended the move saying that there was nothing wrong in it as anyone can campaign for any political party in the country.
Taking a swipe at the saffron party, a TMC leader said that going by BJP’s allegations that they were trying to woo the minority community, who were the BJP trying to impress through rallies with arms in Ram Navami procession.