Polls over, Bengal celeb candidates turn to pets, complete film shoots

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Kolkata, May 8 (IANS) Spending quality time with pets, hitting the gym or catching up with friends and dear ones, celeb candidates for the West Bengal assembly polls are now busy unwinding or attending to personal engagements after weeks of hectic campaign in the heat and dust wooing the voters.

With the six-phased poll jamboree ending and their fates sealed in EVMs, star nominees, many of whom are not familiar with the din of political battles, are now steadily getting back to their normal lives.

After weeks of hectic canvassing braving the blazing sun and energy-sapping conditions, entrepreneur-turned- politician and daughter of late cricket administrator Jagmohan Dalmiya, Baishali is now busy catching up with her pets and spending quality time with her son.

“It’s almost like a farmhouse”, Baishali, busy playing with her pet dogs and birds, told IANS.

The 47-year-old has again started looking after the family business from the plush office of M.L. Dalmiya and Co on Shakespeare Sarani.

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“And, yes, I am busy enjoying the IPL. I am a big supporter of Kolkata Knight Riders,” she said.

Making her electoral foray from Bally – a suburb in neighbouring Howrah – the Trinamool Congress nominee is confident not only of her own victory but also of her party returning to power in the state.

“It will be ‘go green’, not only in Bally but everywhere in Bengal,” Baishali said, referring to her party’s colour.

For Trinamool’s soccer trio of former India captain Bhaichung Bhutia, Syed Rahim Nabi and Dipendu Biswas, the stamina of a sportperson came in handy in absorbing the rigours of the campaign.

“I have played under the scorching sun, so campaigning in the heat hasn’t troubled me,” Biswas told IANS.

Contesting from Basirhat South in North 24 Parganas, the footballer canvassed throughout his constituency mostly on foot, going door to door to reach out to the voters.

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Having dribbled throughout his constituency Pandua wooing his voters, Nabi is relieved to be back doing what he does best – playing football.

“I have started to practise. I am also hitting the gym,” Nabi said, exuding confidence of scoring a goal on May 19 when the results will be declared.

Former Asian Games gold medallist and CPI-M candidate Jyotirmoyee Sikdar, who is a stranger neither to politics nor to the rigours of a poll campaign, says the hardships are inescapable.

“Elections generally happen in the summer months. That is the rule. Everyone has to follow it,” the former parliamentarian, in the fray from Sonarpur North constituency in South 24-Parganas district, told IANS.

After going through the rough and tumble of politics, BJP’s actress nominee Locket Chatterjee is keen to complete her shooting assignments.

The famed film and TV star is anxious about the results but asserts she is taking things lightly.

“I am new to politics. I have very little idea about it. Probably that is why I am less tense about the result,” Chatterjee, in the poll race form Birbhum district’s Mayureshwar, told IANS.

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Her colleague in both the political and professional arena, Roopa Ganguly, who has been highly active during the election, says her urge to work for the masses is her driving force.

“My dream and my ambition to work for the people is the secret of my energy,” the national award winner told IANS.

The BJP candidate and “Draupadi” of the 1980s mega serial “Mahabharat”, was also assertive of emerging victorious from her Howrah North constituency.

Roopa’s rival from the Trinamool and ex-India cricketer Laxmi Ratan Shukla was hopeful his hard work will pay off.

“I have always believed in hard work. Here too I have worked hard. Now let the public take its call.”

(Saptarshi Mallik can be contacted at [email protected])



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