Naseeruddin’s Niece To Contest Byelection Against Babul; Who Is Saira Halim?

Kolkata: Next month’s byelections will see some unexpected candidates contesting for different parties.

The Trinamool Congress (TMC) has already announced actor-turned-politician as its candidate Shatrughan for the Asansol Lok Sabha constituency. Now, CPI(M) has said it will field Saira Shah Halim in the Ballygunge Assembly seat.

Saira Halim is the niece of celebrated actor Naseeruddin Shah, and wife of CPI(M) leader Dr Fuad Halim, who had contested the Ballygunge Assembly seat in 2011 and lost to veteran TMC leader Subrata Mukherjee. The seat fell vacant following the death of Mukherjee.

Saira will be up against TMC’s singer-politician Babul Supriyo, a former Union minister who quit the BJP last year and joined forces with Mamata Banerjee.

An author, documentary filmmaker and public speaker, this will be Saira’s first foray into electoral politics.

Daughter of former deputy chief of Army staff Lt Gen Zameer Uddin Shah, the UK-born Saira had campaigned against the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

Saira kicked off her election campaign on Wednesday. The bylections are scheduled to be held on April 12.

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