Durga Puja committees get IT notices: TMC cries foul, accuses BJP of intimidating committees

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New Delhi | Published: August 13, 2019 10:27:55 PM

Senior BJP leader Mukul Roy questioned the TMC, saying why are they so scared if the IT department is checking the source of income of the puja committees if there is nothing wrong with them.

durga puja 2019, durga puja dates, durga puja 2019 date, durga puja pandal, durga puja kolkata, durga puja kolkata 2019 The ruling party in West Bangal has charged the Narendra Modi government at the Centre of employing intimidating tactics on the puja committees by handing them the IT notices (Express Photo: Shashi Ghosh)

After Durga Puja committees in Kolkata received Income Tax notices, the Mamta Bannerjee-led Trinamool Congress on Tuesday held a staged protest against the move, reported news agency PTI. The ruling party in West Bangal has charged the Narendra Modi government at the Centre of employing intimidating tactics on the puja committees by handing them the IT notices in order to compell them to surrender to the saffron side.

Referring to the BJP allegations on the TMC for allegedly trying to stop the Durga Puja during the Lok Sabha poll campaign, Partha Chatterjee, TMC secretary general and state Education Minister, told mediapersons that the earlier accusation on TMC by the BJP was false and politically motivated. Instead it is now the BJP government who is trying to stop the Durga Puja by issuing IT notices to the committees, he added.

“This is political double standards,” he added. Chatterjee claimed that the only motivation of IT notices to the puja committees is to scare them and compel them to surrender to the BJP so that their leaders can dominate.

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Chatterjee further alleged that BJP had wanted to control these Puja committees but as they failed they are now threatening committees with IT notices. “Most of these committees conduct Durga Puja with subscription taken from locals and handful of local advertisements. We fail to understand what it has to do with the Income Tax department,” the TMC leader was quoted as saying.

TMC chief and state Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee earlier on Sunday had slammed the Centre for sending income tax notices to many Durga Puja committees in Kolkata stating that festivals should be exempt from such levies.

Meanwhile, the BJP hit back at TMC’s decision for protesting and accused its leaders of laundering money “looted” in the chit fund scams in West Bengal via the puja committees.

Senior BJP leader Mukul Roy questioned the TMC, saying why are they so scared if the IT department is checking the source of income of the puja committees if there is nothing wrong with them. Roy further alleged that most of the Durga puja committees in the city are controlled by TMC leaders who use them for black money laundering and “cut money”.

The TMC dismissed the BJP by terming the allegations it levelled as “baseless” After the Lok Sabha elections concluded, the two parties have been using the row the city’s prominent pujas to increase their reach among the people.

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