Midnapore, March 18: Amid frenzied cheers among thousands of adoring fans rooting for him, Bengal's reigning matinee idol Dev Tuesday began his campaign for the Lok Sabha election urging the youth to turn out in large numbers at the polling booths.
Soaking in the adulation of the crowd at the Aurobindo Stadium, where he held his maiden party workers' meeting after being nominated the Trinamool's Lok Sabha candidate for the Ghatal constituency, Dev said: "I want to learn, I want to work for you all."
Dev, who was born at Keshpur in the West Midnapore district, said he had lot of memories of having spend his childhood in the area.
"My parents were born here. Me too... I used to come to Midnapore town with my father, uncle or aunt, and catch a bus to Kharagpur, from where I used to take the Gitanjali Express train to Mumbai."
Keshpur is a part of the Ghatal seat.
"I feel very happy at contesting the election from here. I know many of you are waiting for me since the morning under the scorching sun," said the leading hero of Bengali films.
Thanking Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee for choosing him as a candidate, Dev said: "I cannot believe so many of you have turned up for me. And it is for Mamatadi that my dream has come true".
Dev said he had switched off his mobile when his name was announced as a candidate as he became a bundle of nerves. "But the next morning when I woke up I thought why not? Today's young generation is very alert and smart. The youth are the future.
"I want all the youth to vote. Please all of you come to the polling vote to cast your vote. If Barack Obama can run America, why should the young generation in Bengal lag behind?" he said, waving to the crowd and travelling from one end of the stage to the other accepting the adulation of the people.
Dev said he wanted to take small steps holding the hands of the Trinamool workers and the people.
"I want to learn, I want to work for you all," he said.
In the 2009, Lok Sabha election, Communist Party of India nominee and veteran trade unionist Gurudas Dasgupta had won from Ghatal.