Trinamool’s celeb MPs get down to basics - roads, water, electricity

May 26th, 2009 - 11:16 am ICT by IANS  

By Aparajita Gupta
Kolkata, May 26 (IANS) Having vanquished seasoned politicians on the electoral turf, Trinamool Congress’ first-time “showbiz MPs” want to brush off the stardust and get down to solving the basic problems of the people — power, water and roads.

Their methods may be different but the goal is the same for debutants Shatabdi Roy, a renowned Bengali actress, Kabir Suman, a journalist turned singer, and Tapas Pal, a leading actor.

Moving far from the world of takes and re-takes, Roy can’t wait to begin working for the people in her Birbhum constituency, which has witnessed the defeat of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) for the first time in 42 years.

The actress, who started her celluloid career with Tapan Sinha’s “Atanka” (Terror) in 1986, wants to take up area-based projects to benefit the maximum number of people. Her first priorities, she said, are water and power.

Responding to sceptics wondering how often she would visit Birbhum about 200 km from Kolkata, Roy retorted: “I have taken a house there. An office is also being set up.”

“It’s a very strange, positive feeling. The way the people accepted me, that’s a very fulfilling experience. Even people from outside my constituency are calling me with the expectations that I can solve all their problems.”

“I have told people to write to me about their problems. Whatever is possible we will do,” she said.

Kabir Suman is also confident of balancing his gruelling schedule of cultural soirees and recording studios with addressing the needs of the people at the grassroots.

“I am primarily a singer. I will continue to pen and belt out songs. At the same time I will discharge my responsibilities as an MP. The two will never overlap.”

Suman, whose battleground was the Jadavpur constituency in neighbouring South 24 Parganas district, told IANS: “Whenever I traversed my constituency I could see there is a critical dearth of water, and roadways are also in poor shape. The condition of electricity is also not good.”

“First I want to take good care of water, then roadways and power.”

He feels healthcare also needed an uplift. “There is a radical need to set up primary health centres to address the needs of the people at the grassroots.”

Regarding development of the area, Kabir Suman said: “In Baruipur (one of the assembly segments), which is known for its fruit growing areas, it will remain in my agenda to establish a food processing plant in the place so that it slowly becomes an exporting zone.”

More accustomed to the rough and tumble of politics after eight years as a state lawmaker, leading Bengali actor Tapas Pal talks of a step-by-step approach.

Delighted with his success, Pal told IANS: “I need to do a lot of work in my constituency. It will be a step-by-step progression. Initially, I have to look for development of roads, power, etc.”

Pal, who had twice won the Alipur assembly seat in Kolkata, triumphed in his maiden attempt to enter the Lok Sabha with a 77,000-plus margin over CPI-M MP Jyotirmoyee Sikdar from Krishnanagar constituency of Nadia district.

“I need to take care of the two rivers Jalangi and Anjana in my constituency. I have grand plans for Krishnanagar township also,” he said.

“There are many broken bridges in my constituency. I have to reconstruct them,” he added.

(Aparajita Gupta can be contacted at aparajita.g@ians.in)

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