Film shows off for Tuesday?s Vajpayee-starrer

Atal's rally at Deshapriya Park might end up alienating some of his admirers as police have given a notice on owners of Priya theatre to cancel the shows.
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Updated on May 03, 2004 09:32 PM IST
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PTI | ByKinsuk Basu, Kolkata

If the rush to join the BJP is any sign, the Prime Minister has quite a fan following in Bollywood. But his Tuesday rally at South Kolkata’s Deshapriya Park might end up alienating some of his admirers in Tollywood. That’s because the city police have served a notice on the owners of Priya, the theatre adjacent to the park, to cancel the day’s matinee and evening shows.

The PM’s security is paramount. So the cops decided that Waris — a Debashree Roy-Sabyasachi Chakrabarty starrer — must wait till the bigger show was over. Theatre-owner Arijit Dutta hadn’t thought along these lines; the notice came like a letter bomb.

After a flurry of phone calls, Dutta decided to take the matter up at the highest levels at Lalbazar. Some Tollywood stars too rallied behind him. A cancellation of the shows at such short notice would hit the box-office returns, they agreed.

Home (police) department sources said the letter had been sent to Dutta only after the SPG, in charge of the PM’s security, decided that with the film shows on, the venue wouldn’t be completely safe for the big man. The SPG’s reservations were promptly conveyed to the Trinamool top brass. Rattled, some party bigwigs led by Mukul Roy met the police top brass yesterday.

The SPG relented only after some of its suggestions, including cancellation of the shows, were accepted. As of now, the rally is scheduled for 7 pm. But the SPG wants the 3-to-6 pm show called off to see that a foolproof security shield is in place long before the PM reaches the venue. Since the meeting is expected to roll on till 7.50 pm, Dutta has been asked to call off the evening show as well.

The theatre-owner is hopping mad. “What shall I tell those who have already booked their seats? What if they create trouble?” a furious Dutta said.

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