An apt riposte to Narendra Modi’s 56-inch chest pre-Lok Sabha poll punch-line will be in the form of a Trinamool candidate in the West Bengal assembly elections.
With 20-inch biceps and a 58-inch chest on a 6-foot-1-inch frame, Tushar Sil is easily the most towering figure of this poll season. He is contesting from Amta in Howrah district.
“Besides continuing the development started by our chief minister, my dream is to build a string of gymnasiums and a yoga hospital,” Sil told HT.
Sil was voted Mr India for the most muscular man in the country five times in the 1980s, and once came second at the Mr Asia contest. Now 63, he lives in Kolkata after retiring from a defence ministry job.
“His biceps measured 24 inches when he was runners-up in Mr Asia. Wherever he goes, voters watch his physique with awe,” said Sukanta Pal, TMC youth wing president of Howrah.
However, Sil is not the first bodybuilder to enter the Bengal political arena. Manohar Aich, who won the Mr Universe title in 1952, was a BJP candidate in 1991 general election.
Sil’s main rival is Congress’ Asit Mitra, and he presents a study in contrast. Mitra’s chest measures less than 40 inches, but that is no deterrent for him. “My capital is my mental strength,” he said.