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Balurghat artistes miffed with Arpita

- Trinamul candidate ignoring us: Theatre personalities

Balurghat, March 18: Theatre personalities in Balurghat today lashed out at Trinamul’s Lok Sabha candidate Arpita Ghosh for not interacting with them and allegedly asking artistes from Calcutta to campaign for her.

Ghosh had held a press conference in Calcutta yesterday and asked people from the cultural field to support her.

Bhaskar Chatterjee, chairperson of Balurghat Natya Academy, said: “I don’t want to comment on Arpita Ghosh’s candidature. She has not contacted anyone after her name was announced. It seems she is more interested in the colourful people of Calcutta and wants to give them more importance. Balurghat has produced many eminent theatre personalities. She could have spoken to us. Now if she calls us, it would be a political move. I have doubts if people will respond to her calls at all.”

Balurghat has around 10 drama organisations.

“Aprita has been the chairperson of the children’s academy (Paschim Banga Shishu Kishore Academy in Calcutta) for more than two-and-a-half-years. Has she ever met anyone here during that time? No drama organisation in Balurghat was invited to the drama fest organised by the state government in the past two years. Arpita has not set any example for development of drama culture in Balurghat that she can talk about,” said Amit Saha, secretary of Balurghat Natya Karmi, a drama association here. “The bidwajan (intellectuals) who are likely to come here to campaign have never done anything to promote the culture here. Whenever they come, they are paid a good amount. If they campaign here now, I don’t think it would have much of an impact,” said Saha, also a member of the RSP-backed teachers’ association here.

Sources said theatre personalities, including minister Bratya Basu, are likely to campaign for Ghosh.

Trinamul activists in Balurghat also said they were losing interest in the candidate. “Ever since Ghosh’s name was announced, she did not come here. She is based in Gangarampur and our people cannot contact her easily, which is embarrassing,” said a Trinamul leader.

Contacted, Arpita Ghosh said she was in touch with a lot of people in Balurghat and she had invited everyone from the cultural field to support her. “I would attend a meeting in Balurghat on March 21. I am campaigning in other parts of the district now,” she said.