Sidhant Mohapatra: My people will not remain unprivileged any more

Author:Ayaskant Das source


The chocolate boy of Odia film industry, Sidhant Mohapatra, has a new and more serious role to play. He has been the poster boy of Odia film industry for more than a decade and a half, during which time he has given the maximum number of hits to the industry. He started his career with the film Shradhanjali in the year 1993 and followed it up with hits like Pathara Khasuchi Bada Deularu, Suna Panjuri, Suhag Sindura, Lakhe Siba Puji Paichi Pua, Mo Kola To Jhulana and Pua Mora Jagata Jita. Two of his recent releases Mukhyamantri and Suna Chadhei Mo Rupa Chadhei have also found great appreciation with the public of Odisha.

In his long innings in the Odia film industry, Sidhant has acted with the most noted directors and co-actors. And he has proved his talent as an actor and silenced his critics' doubts over his acting credentials by winning the state film award more than once.

However, after showering him with immense love and affection as an actor, the people of Odisha (Berhampur to be more precise) have bestowed their faith on him and elected him as a Member of Parliament. In the recently held general elections to the 15th Lok Sabha, Sidhant Mohapatra contested as a candidate of the Biju Janata Dal from the Berhampur Lok Sabha constituency.

He was up against a seasoned campaigner, Chandra Sekhar Sahu of the Indian National Congress who was also the sitting MP. But Sidhant bagged a whopping 3,19,839 votes as compared to Sahu's 2,62,552 votes to be elected the new MP of Berhampur. He has now a long innings to play in the political field of Odisha. Post-election, the actor has been very busy gearing up for his new role, but he did not hesitate when this scribe approached him for an interview in New Delhi . Following is the transcript of the interview.

Q. From films to politics. Had you charted out your career in this fashion when you had made your foray into the film industry? Or have you taken your career, that is, from films to politics, as it has come to you?

A. I came to the film industry without having any godfather behind me but the people of Odisha accepted me and kept me going as their hero over the last 15 years. So I thought to do something for them in return and I found that politics is the right medium to serve my people.

Q. Now that you are an MP from Odisha, what do you feel are the major issues of Odisha that merit immediate attention? What are the issues you feel the Central government must look into with more attention than the state government?

A. The list is much longer but I feel a few major issues need to be paid immediate attention to by the Central government at the earliest. Issues such as mineral royalties and more funds for dealing with natural calamities in the state of Odisha should be dealt with on a priority basis.

Q. Your party, the BJD, has declined from joining hands with the Congress-led UPA government. How will you go about securing the interests of Odisha at the centre?

A. Since this is my maiden entry to the parliament as an MP, I know one thing that I am representing the state of Odisha in parliament and my job is to look for better opportunities and welfare for the people of Odisha. I am confident that the central government will help and support Odisha for its growth.

Q. The people of Berhampur have elected you over a seasoned politician in Chandra Sekhar Sahu. What is your message for the people of Berhampur in particular and for the people of Odisha in general?

A. I am extremely thankful to them. I am also feeling quite responsible to take such a huge responsibility for lakhs of people of my constituency. One thing is for sure that they will not remain unprivileged any more from getting their basic rights. There are many issues to be addressed and I have started looking into the issues as per priority.

Q. Would the MP Sidhant Mohapatra continue with his acting career along with the larger role of a representative of the people or will he now devote his entire time to serious politics?

A. Of course there are certain previous commitments to be fulfilled but certainly not now, as I have delayed all my film assignments for the later part of the year. Now my main priority and focus are on my responsibility as an MP. But I am sure that in the future, I will balance myself between my film career and my career in politics.

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