Ahmed was campaigning for TMC on tourist visa.
Kolkata: Popular Bangladeshi actor Ferdous Ahmed hasreturned to his country following directions from Bangladeshi deputy high commission in Kolkata after he courted controversy by campaigning in the Lok Sabha elections for the Trinamul Congress (TMC) in North Bengal recently. The incident has left the Mamata Banerjee-led TMC red-faced.
The development comes after the BJP lodged a complaint with the Election Commission against the actor for violating visa rules and the TMC for violating the model code of conduct. It argued that foreigners cannot take part in poll campaigns in the country as they visit on tourist visas.
On April 14, Mr Ahmed was seen along with some Bengali actors in a jeep during a roadshow for the TMC candidate of Raiganj in North Dinajpur, Kan-ailal Agarwal. On Monday he campaigned in the district’s Karandighi and Chakulia areas.
Mr Ahmed was also seen appealing to people to cast their vote for Mr Agarwal.
According to diplomatic sources, the Bangladeshi deputy high commission in Kolkata called up Mr Ahmed and asked him to return to Bangladesh immediately following instructions from the Bangladesh High Commission in New Delhi.
The EC had taken up the matter with the Bangl-adesh High Commission while seeking a report on the actor from the ministry of home affairs which, in turn, had directed the Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) in Kolkata, under the Bureau of Immigration, to look into Mr Ahmed’s visa tenure.
On Tuesday evening, Mohammed Mofakkharul Iqbal, first secretary (press), Bangladesh deputy high commission in Kolkata, told this newspaper, “The actor said he was shooting for a film and the producer asked him to go there. When we told him he was seen participating in a poll campaign and that he cannot do that, he admitted it. We then advised him to return to Bangladesh and asked him to complete his shooting after the polls. He has returned to Bangladesh.”
Raking up the infiltration issue, senior BJP leader Kailash Vijayvargiya said, “Whenever a foreigner visits our country, he or she has to disclose his purpose. If an artist comes like an infiltrator and campaigns for a political party here, it amounts to violation of international norms. I condemn it.”
“It is a shame for chief minister Mamata Ban-erjee that there is no one in the country who can work for her,” he added.
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