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Prashant Tamang, already an idol

It was his colleagues on the police force who urged him to participate on Indian Idol 3. He never imagined he would qualify. Since then life has never been the same.

A Nepali celebrity, he has just been appointed brand ambassador for the Nepali-majority Sikkim state.

Such is the fever in Darjeeling that everybody is rooting for Prashant's success, leading to the mushrooming of Prashant fan clubs.

People collect money and stay awake the whole night to vote for him. Voting often takes place in shifts with some folks voting at night while others do so during the day.

A member of Prashant's fan club tells us, "We are grateful to the mother who has given birth to this fellow who has united and brought Nepalese society" to the notice of the rest of India.

Prashant's fan clubs are not restricted to India but exist abroad as well. Money for the SMSes has come in from the US and UK as well as Nepal. One citizen of Nepal said, "since the cost of SMS is high in Nepal, we have to come to Darjeeling."

A group from Nepal recently performed in Darjeeling and Kurseong and collected money for SMS votes for Prashant. Offices too are collecting money. The Prashant fever is so high in the area that kids are saving their pocket money so that they can SMS Prashant!

In the picture: A Prashant fan club in Kurseong.

Also read: Have you met the Idols?
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