The visa of Bangladeshi actor Ferdous Ahmed has been cancelled after he campaigned for the Trinamool Congress in north Bengal. The union home ministry has ordered the actor to leave the country and blacklisted him.
“After receiving report from Bureau of Immigration regarding visa violations committed by a Bangladesh National Mr Ferdous Ahmed, MHA has cancelled his business visa and issued him a leave India notice. He also has been blacklisted,” a home ministry statement said.
Opposition parties in Bengal had protested the appearance of Ferdous at a Trinamool Congress road show and election rally in Raiganj, north Bengal, on Tuesday and demanded the cancellation of the candidature of Kanaia Lal Agarwal, the ruling party"s candidate from that constituency.
“The Election Commission of India (ECI) must find out what reason Ferdous cited in his application for a visa. Can a foreign national campaign for a candidate in India?” BJP state vice-president Jay Prakash Majumdar had said.
Forty-five year old Ahmed is a popular star in Bangladesh and has also acted in several films in "Tollywood", the West Bengal film industry. He has starred in more than 200 films and won four national awards in his country as "best actor", including one for an Indo-Bangladesh production directed by renowned West Bengal director, Basu Chatterjee.
After appearing at a roadshow in Raiganj on Sunday, Ahmed was seen on the dais of a rally, urging people to vote for Bengal"s ruling party and "Didi" (CM Mamata Banerjee).
Payel Sarkar, a Bengali film actor who participated in the road show and rally along with the foreign actor, confirmed his presence. “I was there with him at the rally and road show. But it won"t be proper for me to comment,” she said.
Raiganj is keenly-fought seat with Agarwal locked in a triangular contest with Congress"s Deepa Dasmunshi and CPI-M"s Mohammad Salim. Raiganj will vote during the second phase of the Lok Sabha election on April 18. The counting of votes of the seven-phased polls will be held on May 23.