Fresh row erupts as Arijit Singh's show in Kolkata gets cancelled

The BJP has claimed that the reputed singer has paid the price for singing the popular song 'Rang De Tu Mohe Gerua' in the presence of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at the recent inauguration of the Kolkata International Film Festival (KIFF), which was attended, among others, by top Bollywood stars such as Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan and Rani Mukherjee.

A fresh political slugfest has erupted in West Bengal after the cancellation of a concert by popular play-back singer Arijit Singh at the Eco Park in Kolkata scheduled early next year.

The BJP has claimed that the reputed singer has paid the price for singing the popular song 'Rang De Tu Mohe Gerua' in the presence of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at the recent inauguration of the Kolkata International Film Festival (KIFF), which was attended, among others, by top Bollywood stars such as Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan and Rani Mukherjee.

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BJP's IT cell chief and the party's observer for West Bengal, Amit Malviya, triggered the controversy by tweeting that the cancellation of Arijit Singh's show was a fallout of his singing the song 'Rang De Tu Mohe Gerua' at the KIFF inauguration.

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"Sr Bachchan was on dot when he spoke about shrinking space for civil liberties and freedom of expression at the Kolkata Film Festival. Arijit Singh, who sang 'Rang De Tu Mohe Gerua' with Mamata Banerjee on the dais, now finds his show at Eco Park cancelled by the HIDCO, a state government body," Malviya tweeted.

State president of BJP's youth wing in West Bengal, Indranil Khan, also took to Twitter to slam the West Bengal government, saying, "Why has Arijit Singh's show at Eco Park been cancelled by WB govt body HIDCO? The result of Arijit humming 'Rang De Tu Mohe Gerua' in front of 'Her Excellency' at KIFF? Intolerance scales new heights."

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However, state Municipal Affairs and Urban Development Minister and Kolkata Mayor Firhad Hakim denied the allegations while speaking to mediapersons. Hakim, who is also the Chairman of HIDCO, claimed that the organisers of the show did not make any formal application to HIDCO for the music concert.

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"They just verbally informed the local police. The time of the show coincides with the New Year celebrations, when lots of people assemble at Eco Park. Moreover, the timing will coincide with the G20 seminar. So, the police have asked the organisers to look for an alternative venue. There is no political angle to this," Hakim said.

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