KOLKATA, 24 APRIL: For Mr Paresh Pal, the Trinamul Congress candidate from Beliaghata, slogans are a passé. Instead, he chose to share the limelight with actress Zeenat Aman and comedian Asrani.
While Mr Anadi Sahoo, the CPI-M candidate from the same Assembly constituency, sweated it out in the sun knocking at voters’ doors to meet people during his campaign; people opened their doors and windows and poured on to the streets to meet the stars whom they had only seen on TV screens. Mr Pal was tucked between them with folded hands on a tiny matador and gave people a benign smile wherever he went.
Singers hummed Rabindra Sangeet. In between Trinamul Congress slogans were raised. There were party flags, balloons, banners, posters, T-shirts, caps and amidst them Zeenat Aman and Angrezon ke zamane ka jailer Asrani smiled and waved at people.
Several people stopped Trinamul supporters on bikes or auto-rickshaws to ask them the route of the roadshow. The logistics spread like wildfire and people waited patiently at various crossings. Once Mr Paresh Pal arrived in his ‘golden chariot’ with Zeenat Aman and Asrani in tow, people were awestruck while others managed to shake hands with actors. People also shook hands with Mr Pal.
Mr Suraj Pal, who runs a laundry in Ward no.33, said: “Who can say who will win. But the poll certainly adds colour to our mundane life. Do you think my daughter or I would ever have been able to see these actors in our life? Mr Pal at least provided a treat to our eyes.”
Not all, like Mr Ananda Bakshi, a resident of the area, subscribed to the idea. “I really don’t understand the idea behind such roadshows. The actors don’t even know the condition of the state. They don’t know the ideology of the party they are campaigning for. It’s just like a circus. Nice but meaningless, though.”
Mr Pal, who stressed on roadshows more than the rigorous door-to-door campaigns, certainly won hands down in providing a treat to the eyes.