Actor turned politician Deepak Chakraborty popularly known as Chiranjeet, a 90’s heartthrob, is on his way to set another milestone in his political career by winning election form Barasat Assembly constituency for the second time. Believing that working at the grass root level is the best way to bring overall development, he is now busy in door-to-door campaign. From wooing fans on screen to wooing voters in the election battle, the transition had been smooth for him. Chiranjeet, sitting MLA from Barasat, in a conversation with Pradip Chatterjee.
How would you evaluate your performance in last five years?
A:This is for the first time that elections are taking place on the basis of development in the state. Various development works were carried out in the past four-and-half-years. The entire sewage system has changed in Barasat where waterlogging was a major issue. The roads were elevated. Around 25 high mast lamps have been set up. But most importantly, the infrastructure in Barasat District Hospital has been revamped. A rest room has been set up at Barasat Hospital as people faced inconveniences during rainy season. An escalator will be installed with the financial assistance from the MP. Funds were given to various schools. People are getting purified drinking water.
How much are you optimistic about your victory?
A: I am 100 per cent confident about my victory in the elections. People have seen the development work in last four-and-half-years. During Left Front regime no such developments were took place. Law and order situation has been improved as more police stations were set up.
What percentage of the MLA fund has been utilised?
A: I have spent 100 per cent from my MLA fund. We have carried out developments under ‘Tridhara’ -- in which funds were generated from MP fund and Barasat municipality.
Don’t you think that the alliance between the CPI(M) and Congress will make an impact?
A: No, the alliance will hardly make any impact in the elections. This was not actually an alliance. Two groups of people collaborated for their own benefits. People will not accept this.
Some people were saying that you were not always available in the constituency. What would you say?
A: No, this was not true. Finding no agenda the opposition parties are making this propaganda. Whenever there was a need I was always in my constituency.
Last time you won by a margin of 40,211 votes. BJP had secured second highest vote from Barasat Assembly constituency during the last Lok Sabha election. Will they play spoilsport?
A: Voters of BJP will never cast their votes in favour of Left front or Congress. This time the margin will go up. Congress has no support base here whereas the Forward block organisation has eroded.
How the people are responding to your election rallies?
A: I get tremendous response from people in my constituency. People come and shake their hands with me, get my autographs, while others wave their hands from their houses. People in large number gather on the road side and greet me, not because of my film star image but also for the work I have done.
Which among the two are more difficult ~ fulfilling audience’s expectations as a film star or meeting the expectations of electorates as a public representative?
A: Fulfilling the expectations of people as a public representative is far more difficult than winning the heart of my fans. We as film stars make people dream which is easy task, whereas facing the challenges of the real world is very difficult.
It is never easy to live up to the expectations of all the people, no matter how well you perform.
What are the areas where you will focus if you win the election for the second time?
A: In spite of the development work carried out in past-four-and-half years a lot of other things are yet to be done in the region. During the Left regime a beautifully decorated Zamindar house was converted to a haunted house with the shrubs growing up all over it. Even the chandelier which was there inside the house was sold out.
In the second term we will again chalk out developmental plans in Barasat on a priority basis.