Famous Bangladeshi actor Ferdous Ahmed’s role as star campaigner for the Trinamool Congress in the Lok Sabha elections in West Bengal has been written off by the centre. The 45-year-old actor will be sent back and blacklisted for violating his visa conditions.
According to sources, the Home Ministry had asked for a report from the Bureau of Immigration after Mr Ahmed’s presence at a Trinamool roadshow triggered controversy. The Ministry has now cancelled his business visa and issued him a leave-India notice.
“He also has been blacklisted. FRRO (Foreigners Regional Registration Office) Kolkata has been directed to ensure compliance of these orders,” a senior bureaucrat in the ministry said. The FRRO is responsible for providing visa services to all foreigners.
The decision is certain to open new front of attacks between Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress, which rules West Bengal, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government at the centre. The two sides already an acrimonious relation that has grown even bitter ahead of the ongoing polls.
According to the Home Ministry officer, granting visas is the right of Government of India and the sate has no role to play in it. “A foreigner can’t come to India and campaign for a political party,” he added.
However, the Home Ministry insisted that they are not looking at the case from a political standpoint. It is a matter of rules and regulations, they said.
Reports had said that Ferdous Ahmed, Bangladeshi National Award-winning actor, had taken part in campaigning for Trinamool Congress’s Raiganj candidate along with some Indian actors.
According to an intelligence report sent to the Home Ministry, the Bangladeshi film star was seen seeking votes for Trinamool Congress candidate Kanhaiyalal Agarwal at campaign rallies across Hemtabad and Karandighi near the Indo-Bangladesh border.
Mr Ahmed is said to be visiting India on a business visa.
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