Kolkata: A controversy has erupted here with a Bangladeshi actor campaigning for a Trinamool Congress candidate for Lok Sabha elections.

Bangladeshi actor Ferdous Ahmed, who also works in Bengali films here, campaigning for Trinamool Congress candidate from Raigunj constituency Kanhaiyalal Agarwal on Sunday raised the hackles of many. Ahmed participated in a roadshow from Karandighi to Islampur accompanied by Bengali actors Ankush and Payal.

After the roadshow, Ahmed took the stage and said, “All should vote for the Trinamool Congress. All should vote for didi.”

The Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) has moved the Election Commission and filed a complaint against the Trinamool Congress. It claimed that a foreign national as part of an election campaign was a violation of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC). BJP also claimed that the Trinamool was trying to consolidate minority votes in the Raigunj seat by roping in a famous Bangladeshi actor like Ahmed.

The BJP delegation comprised Jay Prakash Majumdar and Sisir Bajoria.  Later, Majumdar said, “I sent the video to the EC and asked them to check the legality of the matter. Despite us filing a complaint, how can the additional CEO Sanjay Basu say that they haven’t received any complaint? When the CEO verbally communicated to us yesterday, that it has been sent to the competent authority, how can the additional CEO say that it does not violate the MCC?”

“Does that mean that there is no coordination between them? It shows the negative side of the CEO office. Basu is not doing his duty properly. He did not even check the visa terms. We demand a re-assignment of Basu’s duty. Bangladeshi actor Ferdous Ahmed should have been arrested for breach of visa rules,” he said.

BJP Bengal chief Dilip Ghosh wondered if TMC couldn’t find anyone from India worthy enough to campaign. He asked, “Tomorrow, Banerjee will invite Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan to campaign for the TMC?”

On its part, TMC has displayed a soft corner for actors; it even has actors like Nusrat Jahan and Mimi Chakraborty are fighting for the party in this Lok Sabha election.

Meanwhile, the EC has said the model code of conduct (MCC) is not specific about a foreign national canvassing for any political party. Ahmed, a Bangladesh national, now working in Bengali film industry, campaigned for Trinamool’s candidate Agarwal from Raiganj in North Dinajpur district.

However, Trinamool maintained that there was nothing wrong in roping in Ahmed. “Our contribution for Bangladesh in the 1971 Liberation War has been immense. And I do not feel that we have done anything wrong by inviting him to campaign for us here. We will not do anything that is anti-national, illegal or violative of the MCC.

“If the EC takes action against us, they must also take action against BJP candidates and leaders who were flashing arms and swords on Ramnavami during the election period,” said former Trinamool Congress minister Madan Mitra.