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Ballygunge bypoll: Naseeruddin Shah seeks votes for niece Saira

The acclaimed thespian also lashed out at Supriyo, calling him a 'turncoat, opportunist, also a serial hate monger'

Arkamoy Datta Majumdar Calcutta Published 05.04.22, 01:16 AM
Naseeruddin Shah.

Naseeruddin Shah. File photo

Veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah has sought votes for his niece and the CPM candidate for the Ballygunge bypoll, Saira Shah Halim.

In a video message, which was tweeted by Halim on Monday, Shah was seen urging the people of Ballygunge to vote for the CPM nominee. Shah’s message has come two days after his wife and renowned actor Ratna Pathak Shah issued a similar video extending her support to Halim.


Both the videos from the Shahs have come as a ray of hope for the Left parties — which failed to secure a single seat in the last year’s Assembly polls — as they are desperate to wrest the seat that Subrata Mukherjee had won as a Trinamul nominee in 2021.

“I’m not affiliated to nor do I owe allegiance to any political party. I’m here in a purely individual capacity to support the candidature of Saira Shah Halim for the upcoming Ballygunge byelections,” Shah said in the video.

“Being the daughter of my brother, naturally I’ve known her since she was born. But family ties aside, I’ve always found her to be a courageous, committed, caring person of integrity who’s always eager to help the less fortunate. She has been outspoken in her criticism of certain causes and vocal defender of others,” Shah said.

Halim’s husband, Fuad Halim, a CPM member and doctor by profession, has also found a mention in Shah’s message. Fuad was the CPM candidate from Ballygunge in 2021.

“She has devoted her life to various social causes. She and her husband have been running a dialysis clinic for the poor and needy for several years,” said the Bollywood actor.

Speaking to The Telegraph, Fuad admitted that messages and wishes such as those would help the candidate and the party stay ahead of the rival contestants.

He added that a churning had started in Bengal following frequent political clashes and the people of Bengal were looking to remove the oppressors ruling the state.

“Ballygunge might as well become a milestone for the looming change in the state and in the Assembly,” Fuad said. “Even Trinamul supporters in Ballygunge are against party nominee Babul Supriyo,” he added.

The bypoll will be held on April 12. The acclaimed thespian also lashed out at Supriyo, calling him a “turncoat, opportunist, also a serial hate monger”.

“Think deeply before you vote,” Shah concludes his message by urging the voters of Ballygunge to make the right choice and vote for Halim who is, in Shah’s words, “caring, compassionate, committed person who will work” for the people.

Halim has already received the support of anti-CAA and anti-NRC activists who have started a campaign called #NoVoteoBabulSupriyoAndBJP. These activists have referred to Halim as the strongest secular candidate in Ballygunge and have announced to take out a rally in her support on April 7.

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