‘No tax on Durga Puja committees’: TMC on day-long protest as Mamata sets stage for fresh clash with Centre over I-T notices

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Published: August 13, 2019 11:45:00 AM

Slamming the Centre for income-tax notices served to Durga Puja committees, Mamata Banerjee cited the Bengal government's withdrawal of the tax which was imposed on Ganga Sagar Mela.

Mamata Banerjee, durga puja income tax notice, trinamool congress, bengal newsWest Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. (File Photo)

Income-Tax notice to Durga Puja committees: After a brief lull in the tussle between the Centre and Mamata Banerjee-ruled West Bengal, a fresh duel seems to be brewing up between the two sides. The Trinamool Congress on Tuesday launched a day-long protest against income-tax notices being served to several Durga Puja committees in the state. The dharna at Kolkata’s Subodh Mallik Square has been organised by TMC’s Banga Janani wing on the call of party chief and CM Mamata Banerjee. Slamming the Centre for income-tax notices served to Durga Puja committees, Mamata Banerjee on Sunday cited the Bengal government’s withdrawal of the tax which was imposed on Ganga Sagar Mela.

“The Income Tax Dept has issued notices to many committees who organise Durga pujos, asking them to pay taxes. We are proud of all our national festivals. These festivals are for all and we do not want any pujo festival to be taxed. This will be a burden on the organisers. Bangla govt withdrew tax, which was earlier there, on Ganga Sagar Mela. We protest and demand no taxation on Durga pujo and Durga pujo committees,” the Bengal CM said in a tweet, exhorting people ‘who love Bengal’ to join TMC’s protest against the move.

Mamata Banerjee’s protest seems to be aimed at cornering the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which has been making huge gains in the state. The saffron party which won just two seats in 2014, bagged 18 Lok Sabha seats in 2019 threatening the TMC’s powerful position in West Bengal. The civic polls due to be held in the state next year have typically set the stage for the bigger battle and Trinamool Congress is hoping to arrest the BJP from making deeper inroads into municipal bodies which seem to slipping out of Mamata’s hands.

Assembly elections in Bengal are due in 2021 and the BJP will be hoping to carry forward the gains it made in the Lok Sabha elections into the civic polls as well. On the other hand, Mamata Banerjee is desperate to protect her citadel which is apparent from the fact that she has now roped in election strategist Prashant Kishor to stop the BJP’s juggernaut.

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