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Moon & stars overshadow Modi

MPs celeb-struck

Calcutta, May 17: Mamata wanted to talk Modi but the Moon was too distracting for the audience. With the Mahaguru and Khokababu too present, the mix had become too heady to concentrate on the political chitchat.

Star-struck Trinamul MPs rushed to get close to the tinsel-town triumvirate and click pictures with them during and after a meeting Mamata Banerjee had today with her new party MPs at her Kalighat home.

A young first-time parliamentarian later said he was overwhelmed by the presence of actor-MPs Moon Moon Sen, Dev, Mithun Chakraborty and Sandhya Roy.

The chief minister spoke on parliamentary practices and instructed the gathering to speak out if the Narendra Modi government took anti-people and anti-Bengal decisions. But some of her MPs had eyes only for the screen stars, sources said.

As soon as Mamata retreated into another room after the media conference that followed the meeting, some of the MPs rushed for photo-ops with the celebs.

First-time MP Idris Ali got himself photographed with Mithun, a Rajya Sabha MP who attended the meeting, and Moon Moon.

“I was very happy to see them there. Mamatadi ensured that we got introduced to one another. It was nice to be with the stars, who are now my colleagues,” Ali said.

When photographers requested Mithun to pose with Howrah MP Prasun Banerjee, a grinning Ali quickly entered the frame.

Mamata was flanked by Moon Moon and Sandhya when she briefly addressed the media conference. In the back row, the chief minister’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee stood by Dev’s side.

Trinamul’s newly elected MPs at the media conference with Mamata. Picture by Pradip Sanyal

“Being in the same room with a film star is not an everyday experience for us. Bhalo lagchhe bhabte je agami paanch bochhor ek sangey kaaj korbo (It feels nice to think that I shall be working with them for the next five years),” said a young Trinamul MP who did not wish to be named.

Aparupa Poddar, who won with the highest margin among Trinamul candidates this time, was all smiles as she sat beside Moon Moon during the news conference.

“I had met Moon Moondi when Mamatadi called us for a meeting before the Lok Sabha polls. Now, we have become colleagues,” Aparupa said.

“I congratulated Moon Moondi, Sandhyadi and Dev. I felt happy seeing them in person from so close but I did not ask for autographs.”

Moon Moon’s daughters, Raima and Riya, also came to Mamata’s home but left after meeting the chief minister.

At today’s meeting, Calcutta North MP Sudip Bandyopadhyay was named the party’s leader in the Lok Sabha. Sugata Bose and Ratna Dey Nag were appointed the deputy leaders. Kalyan Bandyopadhyay will be the chief whip.

“Winning 34 of the 42 seats is a big achievement. We shall celebrate the victory on July 21, the day we hold a rally in memory of martyrs,” Mamata told reporters.