‘TMC govt did ‘cheap politics’ with Soumitra Chatterjee’s body’, alleges Cong’s Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury

West Bengal Congress chief Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on Wednesday alleged that the TMC government in the state did “cheap politics” with the mortal remains of legendary actor Soumitra Chatterjee, while not giving him due respect during his lifetime.

Chowdhury met the thespian’s daughter Poulomi Basu at their Golf Green residence in south Kolkata.

“The Trinamool Congress did not give him due respect after coming to power in the state in 2011. They had removed him from various committees. But after his death on November 15, they did cheap politics with his body,” the Congress Lok Sabha leader told reporters.

Chatterjee’s body was kept at Rabindra Sadan in central Kolkata for people to pay their last tributes. It was then taken to Keoratala crematorium as thousands of people, including Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and senior Left leaders, walked in a procession. He was cremated with full state honours.

“We think Soumitra Babu’s vast experience could have been used in a better way by this government but he was kept out of the state’s key committees on art and culture,” Chowdhury said.

The state government should take an initiative to build an archive of the Dada Saheb Phalke awardee’s life and works, the Baharampur MP said.

When asked about Chowdhury’s criticism of the state government, Basu said, “We don’t want to get into all these.” A TMC leader, however, termed Chowdhury’s criticism as “extremely unfortunate and in poor taste”.

“While everyone in West Bengal grieved on the day of Soumitra Chatterjee’s death, many hit the streets to bid adieu to ‘Apu’ but Chowdhury has chosen the occasion to do politics after three days,” he said.

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