Durga Puja, arguably the biggest festival of Bengal, has often been used by political parties to reach out to the masses.
Union Home Minister and BJP president Amit Shah is likely to inaugurate Durga Puja festivities in West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s locality this year, party sources said on Thursday. ‘Sanghasree Durga Puja Committee’ has been organising the puja for the last 73 years. In the last few years, the festivities were inaugurated by Banerjee.
However, much has changed since the BJP’s rise on West Bengal’s political firmament in the Lok Sabha polls when it clinched 18 of the state’s 42 seats, just four less than Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress. BJP’s state unit secretary Sayantan Basu now heads the Sanghasree Durga Puja Committee which was previously helmed by
Mamata Banerjee’s brother Kartik Banerjee. A functionary of the committee, however, insisted it had nothing to do with politics. “It has nothing to do with politics. Mr Sayantan Basu is our president. He has said he will talk to Amit Shah’s office to have a date fixed for inaugurating the Durga Puja this time,” Souradeep Dutta, assistant general secretary of the club told PTI.
Sayantan Basu said the club, with which the puja committee is associated, had requested him to have Shah inaugurate the festivities and that he was looking at it. Durga Puja, arguably the biggest festival of Bengal, has often been used by political parties to reach out to the masses.
The BJP had last year set up nearly 3,000 stalls outside puja pandals across the state where it displayed books propagating the party’s ideology.