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Recluse when alive, Suchitra Sen all over daughter Moonmoon's poll posters

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: April 22, 2019  | 17:53 IST

By Ananya Sengupta Asansol (WB), Apr 22 (PTI) The actor is dead, long live the legend. Five years after she died and decades after she retreated into the shadows, never to be seen in public again, Suchitra Sen lives on in the many posters plastered all over Asansol, from where her daughter Moonmoon Sen is contesting as a Trinamool Congress candidate. In this election storm, Sen is sometimes Aarti from "Aandhi", sometimes Devyani from "Mamata" or Paro from "Devdas", film classics that have withstood the test of time. Keeping her company on the posters are Moonmoon and TMC chief, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. At a political rally recently, Moonmoon urged people to vote for her so it would bring peace to her mother's departed soul. She has been using her mother's name frequently in her campaign speeches. "I am Suchitra Sen's daughter. When I come to Asansol, I feel her beside me," she said in one rally. Not all the late actor's fans are impressed. "She was iconic. There was a time when Bengal was completely in love with her, perhaps they still are. Perhaps that is why her daughter is exploiting her in this way," said Bibhash Shaha, a resident of the city, recalling the famously reclusive actor, often compared to Greta Garbo. "It is like looking at her posters again when her films were being released. It is a nice feeling to almost relive those moments when we used to wait for her films. She was iconic, an epitome of dignity," added Moloy Guha, another fan. Sen's face, one of the most iconic in Bengali as well as Hindi cinema, can be seen peering out from banners and posters. Asansol, which goes to polls on April 29, voted BJP to power in 2014. Babul Supriyo won by a margin of over 70,000 votes against his closest rival TMCs Dola Sen. Moonmoon, who defeated Basudeb Acharya, a nine time MP from Bankura, has now been given the responsibility by Banerjee to deliver Asansol to the TMC. An actor herself, Moonmoon is not just using her mother's popularity to seek votes. Her actor daughters Raima and Riya are also lending her their support. According to TMC leader Utpal Sen, the mother and daughter duo cannot be separated and the party wants to keep the yesteryear actor's memories alive. "When we take the name of Moonmoon Sen, there is an instant recall with Suchitra Sen. She is still the 'Mahanayika' in the hearts of the people and she will forever remain so. We want to remind everyone that Moonmoon Sen is Suchitra Sens daughter. People are responding to our appeal," he said. BJP candidate and sitting MP Babul Supriyo, however, has criticised TMC for politicising an icon, saying Sen did not belong to her daughter alone. "She belongs to the people of Bengal. We all love her. Why insult her memory in this manner," he said. Sen, who died at the age of 82 on January 17, 2014, holds a special place in the Bengali audiences hearts for her roles in classics such as "Saat Pake Bandha", "Sharey Chuattor", "Saptapadi", "Shaapmochan", "Harano Sur", "Deep Jele Jai and "Aandhi". Her pairing with Uttam Kumar was particularly notable. PTI ASG BK MIN MIN

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