|Bibhabati Tudu, the saha sabhadhipati of the Bankura zilla parishad, translates Moon Moon Sen’s speech to Santhali in Raipur. Picture by Santosh Kumar Mandal
Khatra (Bankura), April 2: Moon Moon Sen today played the tribal card in a Jungle Mahal pocket in her constituency, Bankura, where the tribal population is around 40 per cent.
Realising that many tribals were in the audience at campaign meetings in Khatra, Ranibandh and Raipur, the Trinamul candidate iterated that her husband was a tribal.
Her husband Bharat Dev Varma by her side, the actress said at a rally on the Sabujbazar football ground in Raipur, 10km from the former Maoist hotbeds of Sarenga and Ranibandh: “Aamar shami Bharat Dev Varma akjon tribal. Aami akjon tribal manusher stree (My husband Bharat Dev Varma is a tribal. I am the wife of a tribal.”
“In films, TV serials and jatras, aami Moon Moon Sen hishabey porichito. Kintu aamar ma aamar naam rekhechhilen Srimati ebong Moon Moon dutoi. Aamar voter card-e naam achhey Srimati Dev Varma (In films, TV serials and jatras, I am better known as Moon Moon Sen. But my mother had named me Srimati and Moon Moon both. My voter card bears the name Srimati Dev Varma),” Moon Moon added.
The first-time Trinamul candidate, who is up against nine-time sitting MP Basudev Acharya of the CPM, reached Raipur around 11am. She called Bibhabati Tudu, the saha sabhdhipati of Bankura zilla parishad, onto the dais and asked her to translate her speech to Santhali.
“Bibhabati aamar chhoto bon. Aami okey khub bhalobashi. O aamar kothagulo aapnader bhashaye bolbey (Bibhabati is my younger sister and I love her very much. She will translate my words to your language),” Moon Moon said after hugging the deputy chief of the Bankura zilla parishad.
As soon as Bibhabati began translating Moon Moon’s speech in Santhali, the 3,000-strong crowd burst into applause.
Moon Moon reminded the audience that she had come to Jungle Mahal earlier for film shootings.
“I visited Jungle Mahal for film shoots earlier but had never been to Raipur. While coming to Raipur from Bankura town, I was feeling very good as the road passes through a forest. It is like being in the heart of nature. I saw girls riding bicycles to school and liked it,” she said.
Moon Moon then praised chief minister Mamata Banerjee and said it was because of her development projects that girls were getting cycles.
“It is she who has sent me to serve you. I also have my mother Suchitra Sen’s blessings. My mother used to love people and I am sure you also loved my mother. I still talk to my mother and ask her what I should do for the people now that I have entered politics. I can hear my mother clearly telling to do good things for people,” the Trinamul candidate said.
Moon Moon left Raipur around 12.15pm and travelled to Mukutmanipur, 35km away.