Shillong, Aug 30 (IANS) From politicians to actors, people from all streams of life in the northeast are rooting for Shillong singing sensation Amit Paul to make him the next 'Indian Idol' in a much-watched reality television contest.
The 24-year-old singer is now in the top five of the highly-rated 'Indian Idol' musical show on Sony TV where one contestant is eliminated based on the least number of votes received on SMS or through phone calls.
Leading the bandwagon for supporting Amit is Meghalaya Chief Minister D.D. Lapang.
'We have conferred him the honorary title of Meghalaya's 'Brand Ambassador' to foster peace, communal harmony, and excellence,' the chief minister told IANS.
Lapang on Wednesday participated at a function here - organised by music lovers and several socio cultural groups - to drum up support for Amit.
'We are all proud of Amit for the success and fame he has attained so far. His achievements have helped people from all walks of life and communities to come together, and this aspect clearly reflects that music has no cultural barriers,' the chief minister said.
Giant hoardings and posters with Amit's photographs have sprung up across Meghalaya asking people to vote for him.
'There is a frenzy all over the place with the catchword now being Amit and only Amit. Some members of his fan club have opened a free telephone booth for people to vote for him, while an Internet cafe has also been set up exclusively to vote for Amit,' said K. Mawlong, a local singer.
Amit fever is also catching up in adjoining Assam with at least a dozen of the state's leading actors and singers organising a street campaign to garner votes for the Shillong youth.
'Amit is the pride of the northeast and we should all rise to the occasion and vote for him,' said Munin Baruah, a noted Assamese filmmaker.
Amit has been into singing since his childhood and had quit studies to pursue a career in singing - he can sing in six languages making him the darling of the 'Indian Idol' judges.
Another youth from Assam, 29-year old Debojit Saha, had earlier won Zee TV's 'Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Challenge 2005' earning him the coveted title 'India's Voice'.