8888677771 | Newsmaker | Face of TMC’s Tollywood brigade, Nusrat Jahan latest TMC leader to get ED summons | Political Pulse News

A popular Bengali actor, Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Nusrat Jahan has received a lot of attention and copped a lot of abuse on social media ever since Mamata Banerjee fielded her from Basirhat in the Lok Sabha in 2019. Now, the TMC MP is under the Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) scanner in a case of cheating and has been summoned for questioning. She is the latest Trinamool leader to have come to the attention of central agencies.

Nusrat is among the most prominent of the new generation of actors from the Bengali film industry — popularly known as Tollywood — who are with the TMC. She was born to an insurance firm employee and a schoolteacher in January 1990, and grew up in Kolkata’s Park Circus. “Though my sister and I had a fairly sheltered life, I was acutely aware of my Muslim identity,” Nusrat told The Indian Express while on the campaign trail in 2019. Within minutes of the announcement of their candidature, both she and Mimi Chakraborty faced a lot of backlash online. “While a lot of trolling is politically motivated, I also believe that some of them are just my admirers screaming for attention,” the TMC leader said at the time. For a long time, her alleged involvement with 2012 Park Street rape case accused Kader Khan was a shadow on her public life. She claimed to have broken off contact with him.

Jahan began her modelling career by winning a beauty pageant in the city in 2010. She made her movie debut the following year with Shotru, starring Tollywood star Jeet, and two years later acted in Khoka 420 with Dev, another Bengali movie superstar who is now a Trinamool MP, and Subhashree. Among Nusrat’s movies where her performance has stood out are Asur (a romantic thriller starring Jeet and Abir Chatterjee), Zulfiqar (an adaptation of William Shakespeare’s tragedies Julius Caesar and Antony and Cleopatra), SOS Kolkata (starring her current partner Yash Dasgupta and fellow TMC MP Mimi Chakraborty), and Ami Je Tomar (a remake of Marathi hit film Mitwaa).

Following her election to the Lok Sabha, Nusrat’s private life was scrutinised more than ever before. Immediately after her election, she married businessman Nikhil Jain at a ceremony in Turkey. Some Islamic clerics criticised her for wearing a saree and “sindoor (vermillion mark on the forehead)” while taking oath as MP. Jahan hit back saying she represented an “inclusive India”. After she participated in Durga Puja celebrations a few months later, a Muslim cleric in Uttar Pradesh criticised her for wearing a saree and dancing to the tune of a dhaak (traditional drum). The cleric accused Nusrat of insulting her religion and demanded that she change her name as she was married to a Hindu. In response, the TMC MP said she wanted to promote religious harmony. “I think I have my own way of portraying harmony towards all religions. Born and brought up in Bengal, I feel I am doing right by following culture and tradition. Here, we celebrate all religious festivities,” she said.

In November 2019, Jahan was admitted to a private hospital in Kolkata with complaints of respiratory trouble. This happened hours after Jahan and her husband celebrated his birthday. Sources at the time said she suddenly fell sick after overdosing on a medicine. Soon afterwards, reports emerged of trouble between the two. Nusrat has been in a relationship with fellow actor Yash Dasgupta since she split with Jain. Since her marriage was not registered in Turkey, a Kolkata court in 2021 held that the wedding was not legally valid. By that time, Nusrat was pregnant and there was a lot of speculation surrounding her pregnancy. In August 2021, Nusrat gave birth to a baby boy at a private hospital in Kolkata, with Yash named as the father on the child’s birth certificate.

As the latest allegations of corruption emerged last month, Nusrat dismissed them and said she was no longer associated with the real estate company accused of duping senior citizens by promising them flats in New Town on the eastern fringes of Kolkata. “I am not involved in any wrongdoing or any form of fraudulent practice. I resigned as its director long back in March 2017. I don’t know why I am being falsely blamed.”

The person helping the senior citizens who have filed a complaint against the Trinamool leader is BJP’s Shankudeb Panda. After the ED summons, Nusrat said she would cooperate with the central agency and that she would join the questioning if she is in Kolkata.

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TMC leader and state Parliamentary Affairs Minister Sovandeb Chattopadhyay said, “It is very evident that it is vendetta politics by the BJP ahead of the Lok Sabha polls. They are using everything they can to malign us and other Opposition parties. This summons is just another attempt to tarnish our image before elections. It has no credibility and importance.”

But what about Nusrat the parliamentarian? She has 23% attendance in the Lok Sabha and according to a TMC youth leader from her constituency Basirhat not everyone there is happy with her.

“Sometimes she visits our constituency frequently, sometimes she doesn’t come here for long periods. We do understand she has other commitments too,” he said, adding, “Controversies surrounding her personal life have not gone down well with the kind of mindset people have here. Minorities are not very happy with her either. Basirhat is minority dominated. Candidates for MP seats in Basirhat have been outsiders only. She was a very well-known face and was given the ticket as he could easily get the minority votes. However, due to her name getting involved in new controversies now and then, people are not very happy. When you are a public figure these things do matter. I believe that selecting Nusrat from Basirhat in 2024 will not be a good decision.”

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