A day after popular Bangladeshi filmstar Ferdous Ahmed was ordered out of India for violating visa conditions by campaigning for a TMC candidate, another actor from that country has kicked up a row by allegedly seeking votes for party nominee Sugata Roy. The BJP Wednesday lodged a complaint with the Election Commission after a video surfaced of television actor Gaazi Noor purportedly campaigning for Roy in Dumdum Lok Sabha constituency in alleged violation of the model code for elections.
"This act is in complete violation of the terms of visa and yet another case of a foreigner actively influencing the electoral process of India's highest law-making body--the Lok Sabha. This is a gross violation of the very basics of democratic structure," BJP West Bengal vice president Jay Prakash Majumdar said after filing a complaint with the EC. He demanded that appropriate action also be taken against former state sports minister Madan Mitra, with whom Noor was claimed to have campaigned for Roy on an open jeep, over the incident.
The party also submitted a video clip to back its claim. When reached for comments, Mitra trashed the allegation and said Noor had met him only to hand over a document.
"He (Noor) is like a brother to me. He called me up and said he has to hand over a document. Because I was not at home, I asked him to meet me on BT Road where I was present then. Noor never campaigned for any candidate and never uttered a single word. Roy was also not there," Mitra told PTI. Noor could not be contacted for comments.
Sources in the Bangladesh Deputy High Commission here said Noor was "cautioned" by a senior official over the incident. Sources in the office of the state's Chief Electoral Officer said they were looking at the matter with "serious concern".
Bangladeshi superstar Ahmed was ordered to leave India immediately and his business visa cancelled, an official had said Tuesday, two days after he allegedly campaigned for West Bengal's ruling TMC, triggering a political row. A video showing Ahmed and Bengali actors Ankush and Payal participating in a roadshow on Sunday to seek votes for Kanhaiyalal Agarwal, the TMC candidate for Raiganj Lok Sabha seat, had gone viral on social media.
Ahmed was also "blacklisted" by the Union Home Ministry, casting a shadow over the prospects of his future travel to India. Many Bangladeshi actors have close links to Bengali film and television industry in Kolkata and work in projects here.
(With inputs from agencies.)