In 1982, they collaborated for the first time — one was the lead actor and the other the music composer. But 32 years later, in 2014, Mithun Chakraborty, the hero of Disco Dancer, and Bappi Lahiri, its music composer, are on the opposite sides of the political spectrum.
Singer and BJP candidate Bappi Lahiri seeks blessings from an elderly woman during his election campaign at Bally in Sreerampore Constituency. (PTI photo)
For, the Trinamool Congress has roped in Chakraborty, its Rajya Sabha MP and disco dancer to his fans, to campaign against disco king Lahiri, the BJP’s candidate from Serampore Lok Sabha constituency, and in favour of party nominee.
The Trinamool, which does not want to take any chances against Lahiri, is also taking the help of Avijit, noted Bollywood playback singer, who will campaign on behalf of its candidate Kalyan Banerjee and hopefully, help ensure his victory.
“It was decided that Chakraborty will take part in election rallies in Chanditala assembly segment on April 24 and at Bankra, which falls under Domjur assembly constituency, on April 26. Apart from Chakraborty, Avijit, too, has agreed to take part in an election rally in Serampore,” said a senior leader of the Trinamool Congress.
Earlier, Banerjee, the sitting MP, had hinted that some Mumbai-based eminent personalities might hit the campaign trail on his behalf in Serampore. He had, however, added that his party would take a final decision in this regard.
“My party has taken a decision and Mithun Chakraborty will take part in my election campaign,” Kalyan Banerjee said.
“Since he (Mithun) is our Rajya Sabha MP, he can take part in my campaign. I was with the people of my constituency throughout the year and I am sure they will remember my contribution when they come to vote,” Banerjee added.
West Bengal chief minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee looks on as party leader actor Mithun Chakrborty gestures at an election rally in Ranchi. (PTI photo)
It may be recalled that Banerjee during his tenure has developed the roads and spent money from his MPLAD funds for the beautification of the Hooghly river front in Uttarpara along with other works in his constituency.
“Primarily, it was decided that Chakraborty would take part in two road shows in Serampore. Later, he might take part in some rallies too,” the Trinamool leader said.
Incidentally, the fight in Serampore is tougher and bigger than the ones in other Lok Sabha constituencies in Hooghly. Further, with the Congress deciding to field party veteran Abdul Mannan as its candidate and the BJP announcing the name of Bappi Lahiri the contest also became more interesting.
What has worried the Trinamool a lot is the huge number of people that the road shows of Lahiri have drawn. Primarily, it had started its campaign attacking the CPI(M) and the Congress but of late it has been targeting the BJP, especially against Lahiri. Many songs were composed for the Trinamool’s election campaign, some targeting Lahiri. “Gan sunle paisa debo, Trinamool ke vote debo — is one that takes a dig at the disco king.
A senior leader of Trinamool’s Hooghly unit conceded that the crowds at Lahiri’s road shows were a worrisome factor and had prompted them to involve disco dancer Mithun Chakraborty in their campaign — combating a star with a star.