Shah Rukh Khan is now West Bengal’s brand ambassador
Gujarat may have the Big B, but Bengal has King Khan. Not to be outdone by Narendra Modi in roping in tourists, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has enlisted the help of Shah Rukh Khan by making him the state’s brand ambassador.
Shah Rukh Khan has agreed to don the role of brand ambassador for West Bengal. This was announced by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at the Writers’ Building on Monday.
State Tourism Minister Rachpal Singh said, “We know Amitabh Bachchan as the Gujarat’s brand ambassador but now we have Shah Rukh. He has great acceptability. We can tap into foreign market.”
Bengal is a state that boasts both mountains and the sea. Yet tourism had lagged for decades under the Left rule. Shah Rukh, who already owns the Kolkata Knight Rider’s franchise, has a special place in the Bengali heart.
Bengal has had a long lull in tourism. Now with Brand Shah Rukh propping up Brand Bengal, the government certainly hopes to break that jinx and revive an economy that has been on life support for too long.
Didi had given an offer to SRK when he was here to inaugurate the 17th Kolkata International Film Festival in November last year.
“I have a cricket team in Kolkata and I frequent this city so often. I am also learning Bengali,” he had said at the event voicing his eagerness to support Mamata. Sources said that Khan had given his consent to Mamata’s proposal in a letter where he called the state his “second home”.
SRK’s association with the state dates back to the time when he bought the IPL team Kolkata Knight Riders. “Awesome feeling of love in Kolkata… got to be in such august company… and mamta (Mamata) didi was so sweet,” Khan had tweeted after his last visit to Kolkata.
SRK promoting West Bengal would definitely add a touch of glamour to the state, which is struggling to find its way out of the `2.03 lakh crore debt burden. By roping in Khan to join her bandwagon of ‘paribartan’, Didi has also successfully emulated Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.