Bangladesh asks actor Ferdous to return after poll row

Last Updated: Tue, Apr 16, 2019 22:43 hrs

Kolkata, April 16 (IANS) In the wake of a controversy over famed Bangladesh actor Ferdous Ahmed canvassing for a Trinamool Congress candidate in West Bengal, the Deputy High Commission for Bangladesh has asked him not to take part in the election campaign in India and return to his country.

It was also suggested to the actor that he should resume his shooting here after the election season gets over, an official at the Bangladeshi mission here said.

Ahmed, a Bangladeshi national now working in Bengali film industry, on Sunday campaigned for Trinamool's candidate Kanaia Lal Agarwal from Raiganj in North Dinajpur district. He was seen along with two other Bengali actors, Ankush Hazra and Payel Sarkar.

"Based on media reports, he was asked whether he participated in the campaign or not. Ahmed told us that he was there for the purpose of shooting and had participated in the (ongoing Lok Sabha election) campaign. It was not a right thing to take part in the election as a foreign national. He was asked to go back," the official told IANS.

"We have also suggested to him that he should resume his shooting activities after the election season gets over," the official added.

The Indian government, however, has cancelled Ahmed's visa and he has been asked to leave the country, the Union Home Ministry announced on Tuesday evening.

Asked about another Bangladeshi actor Gazi Abdun Noor, who was also seen campaigning for Trinamool, the official said: "He was seen in the video. But he did not utter any word. He merely raised his hands."

Trinamool candidate Agarwal, however, claimed that he has "no knowledge" about Ahmed campaigning for him and that he had not invitedthe Bangladeshi actor to canvass for him.

The Bharatiya Janata Party on Tuesday lodged a complaint against the Trinamool candidate on violation of model code of conduct on foreigner canvassing for a party.

The Chief Electoral Officer, West Bengal is seeking clarification and instruction from the Election Commission on the issue which is "new" to the officials.

"It is a new thing and requires clarification and instructions. It has to be examined in view of the legal implication of such exercise. We are informing the details of the fact and seeking clarification from the Election Commission," Additional CEO Sanjay Basu told reporters here on Tuesday.

The CEO's office, which had sought a report from the district election officer regarding the incident of the Bangladeshi actor canvassing for the Trinamool, is also sending the report to the Commission, he added.

Basu, however, had said the Model Code of Conduct doesn't specifically state anything about a foreign national canvassing for any political party.

Asked if it is a violation of the poll code, he had said: "The MCC does not have anything specifically written regarding this."

On Noor, he said: "We have not received any complaint."