Kolkata: With film stars, football icons and famous singers dotting the Bengal electoral landscape in addition to the seasoned politicians, the state`s electorate this time are presented with interesting choices in the Lok Sabha elections.
Long used to hearing loud and vapid speeches of the hardcore politicians, the voters are now delighted to listen to the unconventional, elegant speeches of the political greenhorns.
From superstar Dev to screen diva Moonmoon Sen to former India football team captain Baichung Bhutia to musician Bappi Lahiri and magician P C Sorkar Jr, the voters have never had it so good.
"I never thought in my wildest dreams that someday I will be able to see Dev from so close," said star-struck Sumita Adhikari, a resident of Ghatal, a small town about 140 km from here under Ghatal constituency in West Midnapore district.
Commanding a mass following, film star Dev is the Trinamool Congress candidate from Ghatal and his first speech as a politician last week had left the crowd, mostly of young people, spell bound.
It is the same with magician P C Sorkar, who has held shows all over the world, fighting from Barasat as a BJP nominee.
"The jadugar (magician) I dreamt to be all my childhood and even in my teens, was so near and I shook hands with him. It`s just magic," said Bijoy Chatterjee of Barasat.
Performing roadshows in different localities in his constituency, Sorkar even performed some quick magic responding to his innumerable fans` desires and to rounds of applause.
The ruling Trinamool Congress in West Bengal has fielded cinestars Dev (Ghatal), Moonmoon Sen (Bankura) and Sandhya Roy (Midnapore) for the first time.
Satabdi Roy and Tapas Pal are sitting MPs of the party who have been renominated from their respective constituencies of Birbhum and Krishnagar.
While Baichung Bhutia has been fielded by Trinamool Congress from the high-strung Darjeeling seat, another soccer star of yesteryears Prasun Banerjee has been fielded by the party from Howrah, where he won in a by-election in 2013.