Mamata busy with filmstars, even as West Bengal bleeds

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Kolkata, July 24: The West Bengal government decided to focus on celebrations to mark the 33rd death anniversary of Bengali matinee idol Uttam Kumar on Wednesday even as the state continued to bleed in the ongoing panchayat poll violence. Several people have been killed while many have been injured in the violence that has gripped the state in four phases of the poll completed so far.

According to local news reports, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was busy overseeing the preparations for the programme at Najrul Mancha which will see the presence of the entire Bengali film industry. Several awards will be handed over during the programme.

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State industrialists have been invited at the programme while Opposition leader Surjya Kanta Mishra and state election commissioner Mira Pandey have been left out of the list of invitees. The state government had a major conflict with the state election panel over the rural polls this year with Banerjee even accusing the body of conspiring on behalf of the opposition.

Three senior actors who have been nominated for awards at the programme have trefused to aceept them, said the local reports. According to some observers, the CM, whose image has been considerably battered over her government's performance, has used the occasion to repair her image.

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