Kolkata: Asansol, the industrial belt in West Bengal close to the Jharkhand border, seems set for a high-profile Lok Sabha fight that is sure to raise the glam quotient after the Trinamool Congress on Tuesday decided to field yesteryear’s actress and its current Bankura MP Moon Moon Sen from the seat.
Sen, daughter of Bengali screen legend Suchitra Sen, is likely to take on singer-turned-Union Minister Babul Supriyo, the sitting BJP MP.
Though the Bharatiya Janata Party is yet to announce its candidate list, Supriyo has already started doing his groundwork.
Both candidates share lot of commonalities, starting from their nomenclature.
Both have adopted names. Moon Moon Sen, who dazzled the Bollywood audience 35 years ago as she sashayed her way into the men’s hearts as a sex siren, is officially Shrimati Dev Burma.
Similarly, at the start of his career as an entertainer, he changed his birth name Supriya Baral to Babul Supriyo.
Both were born in highly cultured families. While Sen’s mother Suchitra is rated as the greatest heroine in Bengali films, Supriyo’s grandfather Banikantha NC Baral was a noted Bengali vocalist and composer.
Both of them have had sound academic and cultural grooming, and are fluent in English.
Sen, an alumnus of Loreto Convent, Shillong and Loreto House, Kolkata, graduated from Oxford where her classmate was cricketing legend-turned-Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan. She completed her Masters in Comparative Literature from Jadavpur University, and learned painting from Jamini Roy, considered one of India’s greatest artists.
Supriyo attended Don Bosco School, Liluah, where he was adjudged “All India Don Bosco Music Champion” in 1983, and “The Most Enriching Talent” in 1985. He holds a B.Com degree.
Sen, whose bikini-clad onscreen romps once brought men to their knees, acted in 60 films, like “Andar Baahar”, “100 Days”, “Ek Din Achanak” and “Bow Barracks Forever, and 40 television serials.
Supriyo, an accomplished singer in both Hindi and Bengali films, besides coming out with hit solo albums, has, to his credit, hits like “Dil Ne Dil Ko Pukara”, “Pari Pari Hai Ek Pari” and the title song of the movie “Hum Tum”.
He has also acted in two films of Srijit Mukherjee – “Uma” and “Shah Jahan Regency”. Srijit recently announced that Supriyo would also act in his next film “Gumnami” based on revolutionary hero Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s life.
Both Sen and Supriyo have displayed their versatility in diverse fields.
Apart from acting, Sen taught English in a boy’s school, gave lessons in graphics at a film school, dabbled in painting, and is also coming up with a cookbook in Bengali.
Supriyo, on the other hand, started off as a banker, hosted a television show ‘K for Kishor’, and is now the Union Minister of State for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises.
Last but not the least, they entered politics with a bang, five years ago.
Sen did a giant killing act by upsetting Communist Party of India-Marxist veteran Basudeb Acharia – a nine time MP – in Bankura in 2014.
Supriyo became only one of the BJP’s two Lok Sabha members from West Bengal in 2014 by defeating Trinamool labour leader Dola Sen and CPI-M MP Bansa Gopal Chowdhury.
Though Sen, 63, remained mum after her nomination from Asansol, Supriyo, 47, came out with a witty tweet: “Mamtaji always presents me with SEN-sational opponents in Asansol Elections… Dola SEN in 2014 and Moonmoon SEN in 2019 !”