Pappu Pom Pom joins BJD

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By SHILPI SAMPAD
  • Published 11.11.13
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Bhubaneswar, Nov. 10: Politics may be serious business but this has not prevented stand-up comedian Pappu Pom Pom from taking the plunge.

Odia cinema’s funny man today joined the BJD, which boasts of a battery of cine heavyweights. Pappu, 33, whose real name is Tatwaprakash Satpathy, hails from Kaptipada in Mayurbhanj district. A chemistry graduate, he started off as a musician, recording audio cassettes. Financial constraints forced him to take up a job with a local radio channel for a comedy show.

He moved on to television and films in 2005. His show Jaha Kahibi Sata Kahibi (I will speak nothing but the truth) on a local television channel made him a household name. He has also performed in Odia jatras and acted in over a dozen Odia films. He got married in 2002 against his family’s wishes, following which they disowned him. However, after the couple was blessed with a child, the family accepted them back.

Pappu campaigned extensively for the ruling party during the recent municipal polls and said he had approached chief minister Naveen Patnaik three months ago expressing his wish to join the party. He, however, declined to comment on his prospects of landing a party ticket.

“I have a special fondness for the BJD and admire Naveen babu a lot. Odisha has prospered under his rule. His government has initiated several welfare measures that take care of people from their birth till their death,” said the comedy king after he met Naveen at his residence this morning.

He rued the fact that actors-turned-politicians had not done enough for the Odia film industry’s cause. “I have not joined politics for politics’ sake but because I believe the state needs leaders who are sincere and hardworking. For me, work is worship. Even without being in politics, I have always extended a helping hand to people. And I am committed to improve the film scene here,” he said, adding that joining BJD would not deter him from poking fun at politicians.

Pappu, who commands a huge following across all age groups, said half in jest that he would now lose fans loyal to his rival political parties. “But then, there is an essential difference between viewers and voters,” he chuckled.

Welcoming Pappu into the BJD fold, the chief minister said: “I am sure he will prove to be an asset for the party.”

In April this year, the party had inducted reigning heartthrob of Odia film industry, actor Anubhav Mohanty. Other members of the film fraternity, including actors Siddhant Mohapatra, Muna Khan and actor-filmmaker Prashant Nanda, are also part of BJD, which is consciously trying to raise its glamour quotient.

“As film stars, we get a lot of love and support from people and politics gives us the opportunity to fulfil our social obligations and give something back to society,” said Nanda, who was earlier with the Nationalist Congress Party.

Then there are others like veteran actor Mihir Das, who ruled out his chances of dabbling in politics. “My family members were Janata Dal supporters and my uncle was in politics. But I have not thought about it yet. I fear that the love of my fans will be diluted if I join politics,” he said.