Ahead of Tripura elections, CPM sees red over Hindi film Lal Sarkar
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Ahead of Tripura elections, CPM sees red over Hindi film Lal Sarkar

BJP has indicated it will not let go of Hindi film Lal Sarkar as a campaign tool if it exposes the “25-year misrule” of communists.

Tripura Elections 2018 Updated: Feb 09, 2018 14:41 IST
Priyanka Deb Barman
Priyanka Deb Barman
Hindustan Times, Agartala
Tripura elections,Tripura assembly elections,Lal Sarkar
Tripura chief minister Manik Sarkar addresses an election campaign rally at Gandhigram on Saturday. (PTI Photo)

Already warring over a book on alleged corruption under communist rule in Tripura, the BJP and CPI(M) could soon be at loggerheads over a movie likely to be released this week in the poll-bound state.

BJP has indicated it will not let go of Hindi film Lal Sarkar as a campaign tool if it exposes the “25-year misrule” of communists. Lal Sarkar highlights alleged corruption, murders and crimes against women without naming any government’s reign, said producer Susheel Kumar Sharman. He denied the BJP had any role in producing the movie, which is about a documentary filmmaker who went missing in Tripura.

“Filmmaking is a creative art. Please don’t mix politics in it,” Sharman said in an email.

“I went to Tripura in March 2016 to shoot for a documentary. I travelled to interior parts, observed certain situations that inspired me to make a movie,” he added. Sharman said his movie would showcase Tripura’s cultural heritage too.

Asked why the movie was named Lal Sarkar, Sharman replied, “Lal means blood. Lal Sarkar is all about a government and its attitude towards the blood of its people.”

The movie will have subtitles in Bengali and Kokborok, a language of the Tripuri community. Sharman has plans to screen the movie in other parts of the country later.

The BJP said it had no link to the movie. “We don’t know what the movie is all about. But, if it reveals the truth, wrongdoings of the Marxist government, we will definitely use it as a campaign tool for the coming polls,” said BJP’s Tripura in-charge Sunil Deodhar.

The CPI(M) has filed a complaint with the Election Commission of India about the movie, alleging that it depicts rapes and murders and brands its party workers as the perpetrators. “The movie’s trailer is a BJP conspiracy to malign the CPI(M). It has no relation with facts,” said CPI(M) state secretary Bijan Dhar.

“We complained to the Election Commission to take steps to stop such campaigning and take action against them for using this video for electoral gains,” added Dhar.

In the run-up to the polls scheduled on February 18, the ruling Left Front headed by chief minister Manik Sarkar and the BJP have been trading charges over a book, Manik Rajar Deshe. The book talks of inefficiency of the Left Front government of CPI(M) and allies, and corruption of under the CM’s rule.

Manik Rajar Deshe is the Bengali version of Marathi book Tripuratil Arajkacha Lal Chehera: Manik Sarkar written by Dinesh Kanji, a Mumbai-based freelance journalist.

At the launch of the Bengali version of the book in Agartala on January 17, BJP’s Tripura election in-charge Himanta Biswa Sharma said, “The book reveals the indulgence of CPM government in corruption and Manik Sarkar’s fake clean image. I appeal to people to bring a change this time by toppling the Left government.”

Asked about the book, Dhar said, “The BJP is trying hard to dislodge the government by misguiding people. They are trying to malign the CM’s image through the book.”

Sarkar, running for a fifth consecutive term, has Rs 3,930 and has never filed any income tax return, according to the affidavit he submitted while filing his nomination. He has been in power uninterrupted since 1998.

First Published: Feb 07, 2018 07:31 IST