Kolkata: Bangladeshi actor Ferdous Ahmed, who courted controversy for campaigning for the Trinamool Congress in Bengal, has been issued a notice by the Ministry of Home of Affairs directing him to leave the country. The MHA cancelled Ferdous' business visa and blacklisted the actor. The Foreigner Regional Registration Offices (FRRO)in Kolkata has been directed to ensure compliance of the MHA's orders.
"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 ministry official said.
The development comes hours after a BJP delegation met Election Commission (EC) officials on Tuesday, the second time in two days, over violation of the Model Code of Conduct by the Trinamool Congress for roping in Ferdous for campaigning in Raigunj.
Earlier, the MHA had sought a report from the FRRO on Ferdaus campaigning for TMC.
Mamata Banerjee's party, however, had said that there is nothing wrong with Bangaldeshi actors campaigning for the party since they are quite popular in West Bengal as well. "Trinamool did not invite Ferdous. He came for another programme to the area and decided to join the campaign. He is very popular here," the party said on Tuesday.
"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.
“Bangladeshi actors are coming here and campaigning to fetch votes from a particular community and that too on a tourist visa. This is a breach of visa rules. These actors should be arrested,” demanded BJP Leader Jay Prakash Majumdar after visiting the Election Commission on Tuesday.
On Monday, Ferdous campaigned in the Karandighi and Chakulia areas of North Dinajpur, while on Sunday, he participated in road shows at Raiganj and Hemtabad along with Tollywood actors Payel Sarkar and Ankush. Hematabad and Karandighi are situated very close to the Bangladesh border.
On Monday, additional chief electoral officer Sanjay Basu had said that the Bangladeshi actor campaigning for TMC was not a violation of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC).
Complaining that "no action was taken", the BJP sent a delegation again on Tuesday.
The BJP has also accused the TMC of using the Bangladeshi actor’s image to consolidate its minority votes in the districts of North Bengal. The BJP has accused Basu of working at the behest of the TMC and has written to the EC asking for his transfer.
Meanwhile, another Bangladeshi actor Gazi Abdun Noor was seen campaigning for TMC’s Dum Dum candidate Sougata Roy.