Bangladeshi kicked out of India, Indian election

While law-abiding and patriotic Indians were outraged by the sight of a Bangladeshi campaigning in their election, the BJP alleged Trinamool had roped in Ferdous Ahmed for Muslim votes

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New Delhi: Under tremendous pressure of nationalists and law-abiding citizens, the Union government has revoked the Indian visa of Bangladeshi actor Ferdous Ahmed following his transgression of participating in the Trinamool campaign for Indian general election in West Bengal.

Ferdous Ahmed has been ordered to leave the country immediately and his business visa cancelled, an official said Tuesday, two days after he allegedly campaigned for West Bengal’s ruling TMC that sparked a political row.

West Bengal state BJP leaders Jay Prakash Majumdar and Sisir Bajoria also met the state’s Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Ariz Aftab on Monday to register a complaint and urged him to take appropriation action over the alleged violation of the model code of conduct by the Trinamool.

A video showing Bangladeshi actor Ahmed and Bengali actors Ankush and Payal participating in a roadshow on Sunday to seek votes for Kanhaiyalal Agarwal, the TMC candidate from Raiganj Lok Sabha seat, went viral on social media.

“All should vote for the Trinamool. All should vote for didi (party chief Mamata Banerjee),” Ahmed was claimed to have told voters while sharing the dais with Agarwal.

The Centre Tuesday issued a ‘Leave India’ notice and cancelled the business visa given to the actor.

Bangladeshi Ahmed has also been “blacklisted” by the Union Home Ministry, thus jeopardising the prospects of his future travel to India.

“After receiving a report from the Bureau of Immigration regarding visa violations committed by a Bangladesh National, Ferdous Ahmed, the home ministry has cancelled his business visa and issued him a ‘Leave India’ notice. He has also been blacklisted. The FRRO Kolkata has been directed to ensure compliance of these orders,” a Union home ministry official said in Delhi.

The move comes hours after the central government sought a report from the Foreigner Regional Registration Officer (FRRO), Kolkata, on the Bangladeshi actor over his alleged poll campaign.

Majumdar, the state BJP vice president, wanted to know how a Bangladeshi on a visit to the country could campaign for a candidate, and alleged that the actor was brought to polarise minority voters in the constituency.

“We believe that it is a completely illegal move executed intentionally. This is a proof of the TMC’s bankrupt politics,” he said.

Agarwal said he had no knowledge of the actor canvassing for him.

“I have no knowledge about this (Ahmed campaigning for him). I have only two star campaigners Mamata Banerjee and Suvendu Adhikary. I have participated in Mamata’s two rallies and today I took part in a roadshow in Islampur where Suvendu Adhikary was present,” Agarwal said.

Senior TMC leader and former state minister Madan Mitra was dismissive about any violation of the model code because of a Bangladeshi national campaigning in an election in India.

“I don’t know whether the actor participated in the rally or was invited by the candidate. But I don’t think there is any violation of the model code. The code says a foreigner cannot be a candidate but I think there is no harm if anybody participates in campaigning. I don’t see any violation of the MCC,” Mitra said.

For all reports related to the Lok Sabha election 2019, please visit this page.