Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress (TMC) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have decided utilise the auspicious ocassion of Ganesh chaturthi to woo electorates in West Bengal. Several Ganesh pandals have been set up in the state capital Kolkata and districts. These pandals were inaugurated by host of BJP and TMC leaders on Thursday as the Ganesh festival began, according to Indian Express report.
Key TMC leaders like Sadhan Pande, Sovandeb Chattopadhyay and Sujit Bose inaugurated pandals. State Power Minister Sovandeb Chattopadhyay has received 16 invitations to inaugurate Ganesh Pujas across the city, the IE report said. Big Ganesh pujas were organised in Bhowanipore which is Banerjee’s constituency. “The state has been doing well since 2011. We are performing Ganesh Puja to intensify growth. It is not being held for political reasons,” Sadhan Pande was quoted as saying by IE.
Kolkata Municipal Corporation officials tols IE that around 1,570 community Ganesh Pujas were taking place in the city this year, compared to 1,320 last year. “This year, orders for Ganesh idols have increased. Most of the new orders are from puja organisers backed by TMC leaders,” an artiste in Kumartuli was quoted as by saying IE.
While TMC leaders were busy in celebrating the Ganesh Puja, politicos from BJP including party national secretary Rahul Sinha, Sayantan Basu and Raju Banerjee were too seen inaugurating pandals. “Our leaders have been participating in Ganesh Puja for a long time. TMC is now pursuing a Hindu agenda and participating in Ram Navami, Hanuman Jayanti, Janmashtami and Ganesh Chaturthi. Recently, the state government announced grants for Durga puja committees to mend their fences with them after banning immersion of idols last year on account of Muharram. Until last year, TMC pursued an anti-Hindu agenda,” West Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh was quoted as saying by IE.
Meanwhile, CPM has accused TMC of resorting to communal politics. “TMC is resorting to religion to win the trust of the people. On one hand they are providing grants to Durga puja committees and on the other they are indulging in competitive communalism,” senior CPM leader Rabin Deb was quoted as saying by IE.
TMC leader and state Agricultural Marketing Minister Arup Roy has rejected the charges and claimed, “We don’t do politics with gods. They (BJP) do it. We show respect to all Hindu festivals and also perform pujas in our homes. We do it out of our pure devotion,” he said.