India’s Election Commission (EC) has sought a report from the West Bengal chief electoral officer on a Bangla feature film stated to be a “biopic on Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee”.
The directive came after Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Communist Party of India (Marxist) sought a ban on commercial release of the film in the midst of the country’s parliamentary elections.
The film titled “Baghini-Bengal Tigress” is slated to hit the cinema halls on May 3, reports our New Delhi correspondent.
The BJP and the CPI (M), which are fighting Mamata-led Trinamool Congress in the elections in West Bengal, have moved the EC seeking a ban on the film’s release till the election process is over.
The last round of the seven-phase Lok Sabha elections will be held on May 19 and vote counting will be done on May 23.
“Baghini-Bengal Tigress” tells the story of a girl’s rise to the position of a chief minister after overcoming political foes in a manner that is reportedly strikingly similar to Mamata’s career graph as a politician.
Mamata formed her party Trinamool Congress in late 90s after parting ways with the Congress Party and then single-handedly defeated West Bengal’s Left Front in the 2011 assembly polls in the state in a historic mandate that ended 34 years of unbroken Leftist rule in the state.
The film’s makers said they originally planned to release the movie ahead of the 2016 state assembly polls in West Bengal but now have scheduled it for May 3, three days ahead of the fourth phase of parliamentary elections in West Bengal.
The makers of the movie insisted it is not a biopic as name of the protagonist, played by theatre actor Ruma Chakraborty, is Indira Banerjee.
As the teaser of the movie has already hit the public domain, the CPI (M) claimed it was a “Mamata Banerjee biopic” and submitted a memorandum to the EC, seeking a stay on its release till the elections end.
The BJP has also written to the EC on the film.
“We have submitted a letter to the EC and the Chief Electoral Officer (Ariz Aftab) in West Bengal requesting them to review the film Baghini before it is released on May 3 on similar lines that was done by the EC in the case of another biopic depicting Narendra Modi,” said BJP Bengal state committee member Shishir Bajoria, one of the signatories of the letter.
The Indian EC has already stayed release of the Bollywood biopic on Prime Minister Narendra Modi till parliamentary polls are over. However, following an appeal by the makers of the biopic against the EC’s decision, the Indian Supreme Court has asked the polls body to watch the movie and take a fresh view on the issue.