Movie buff Buddhadeb skips Kolkata film fest openingNovember 11th, 2011 - 12:16 am ICT by IANS
Kolkata, Nov 10 (IANS) He was the moving spirit behind the Kolkata Film Festival till last year. But now, shorn of power, Left leader former chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee Thursday stayed home as the gala unfolded in the city.
“Buddhada was at home when the inauguration happened at the Netaji Indoor stadium,” a Communist Party of India-Marxist source told IANS.
He joined his party comrades at the CPI-M headquarters at the city’s Alimuddin Street after the star-studded and glamorous inauguration function was over.
However, there was no confirmation on whether Bhattacharjee - a movie buff - watched the over one hour glamorous show on television at his Palm Avenue house.
Bhattacharjee’s successor Mamata Banerjee, whose Trinamool Congress earlier this year ousted the CPI-M-led Left Front from power in the state after a 34-year stint, was among the centres of attraction at the function.
Banerjee Wednesday night spoke to Bhattacharjee on phone and invited him to the function, a CPI-M source said.
The former chief minister expressed his inability to attend the inauguration as he had a busy schedule, the source said.
A CPI-M source dubbed Banerjee’s invitation a “mere publicity gimmick” saying it was rather discourteous on the chief minister’s part to invite her predecessor only a day in advance.
The fest, which started in 1995, was the result of efforts by Bhattacharjee who was then the information and cultural affairs minister and later succeeded Jyoti Basu as the chief minister.
Bhattacharjee, was not only instrumental in getting the festival rolling but also played an active roll in deciding the films to be featured in the festival. He would personally watch all the films sent for the event and then forward the selected ones to the screening committee.
The inauguration ceremony, which hitherto was hosted at the Nandan Film Complex, was shifted to the Netaji Indoor Stadium.
The chief minister also feted several cine stars including yesteryears leading ladies Supriya Devi and Savitri Chatterjee.
Apart from Bhattacharjee, other notable absentees included eminent filmmaker Mrinal Sen and actor Soumitra Chatterjee, both of whom were considered close to Bhattacharjee.
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