The BJP vs Trinamool battle for Bengal is promising to turn into a starry one. About a dozen actors and actresses from Tollywood - Kolkata's version of Bollywood - joined the BJP on Wednesday with just days to go for dates to be declared for the assembly polls.
Among the biggest names is Yash Dasgupta, the 35-year-old star of Bengali films and TV serials who debuted in a film called Gangster in 2016 and even won a Filmfare award for the role. Other well-known actors are Papia Adhikari and Soumili Biswas.
Yash Dasgupta is also reportedly a friend of Trinamool MP and actor Nusrat Jahan who was launched into politics by Mamata Banerjee in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
The other actors who debuted in politics thanks to Trinamool include Mimi Chakraborty, Dev Adhikari and Sandhya Roy, the last a veteran who has since quit politics.
Most stars who Trinamool fielded in the polls in the past have been winners. The BJP appears to have a taken a page out of her book and deploy star power in the polls too.
Would he be contesting the polls, Yash Dasgupta was asked. He said that would be up to the party to decide. But he was here to make a difference and ready.
"I think the BJP has been encouraging the youth, believing that youth can bring change for the better. I think if you want to change the system you must be part of it," he said.
Mr Dasgupta said he was very fond of Didi or Mamata Banerjee, BJP's big rival in this poll. "I am Didi's younger brother and will remain so. This morning I messaged her saying I was joining BJP, sought her blessings and conveyed my regards to her," he said.
It was not clear if Mamata Banerjee had responded to his message.
Papia Adhikari and Soumili Biswas are two other well-known actors who joined the BJP on Wednesday. It is not clear how many of them will contest the polls but they are likely to be star campaigners for the party.
The Trinamool, too, has been recruiting film stars, the biggest so far was veteran Dipankar De who acted in nearly half a dozen films by Satyajit Ray and other greats.