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Poll home close to heyday screen

Midnapore, March 27: In the seventies, residents of Midnapore town had lapped up one hit film after another of Sandhya Roy at Mahua cinema.

Four decades later, they are waiting for another tryst with their favourite actress, now the Trinamul Congress’s Lok Sabha poll candidate for Midnapore town.

A 1,000sqft, three-bedroom flat has been readied for Sandhya in a Rabindranagar apartment 500 metres from Mahua, which is being converted into a shopping mall.

Trinamul has taken on rent the second-floor flat that Sandhya’s younger brother selected on Tuesday from among two options.

“Didi (Sandhya) is expected to come to Midnapore on March 31. Her campaign plan is being chalked out with the help of Mamata Banerjee and some district leaders,” Parimal Roy said.

Elderly residents of Rabindranagar still recall Sandhya as Sudha, the heroine of the 1977 blockbuster Baba Taraknath.

“Do you know Baba Taraknath ran for two months at Mahua cinema and many of us saw it four to five times?” gushed Anuradha Das, 60, who lives in a house opposite the flat chosen for Sandhya.

“Those days, Sandhya Roy’s on-screen pairing with Biswajit and Anup Kumar was so popular. We like her a lot and are eagerly waiting for her to arrive,” said Anuradha, a homemaker.

Other residents reeled off names of Sandhya’s hit films — Palatak, Thagini, Baghini, Sansar Seemantey and Fuleswari. “She was so good as Chutki in Satyajit Ray’s Ashani Sanket,” one of them said.

Jyotiram Mondal, 58, who lives in the building that houses the flat chosen for Sandhya, said: “I have seen so many of her films. She is one of my favourite actresses.”

District Trinamul president Dinen Roy said the flat had been spruced up with two sofa sets, an LCD TV set and two AC machines. “A telephone was installed yesterday,” Dinen said.

The owner of the flat, realtor Somnath Das, said: “I feel honoured that an actress of Sandhya Roy’s stature will stay in my flat.”