KOLKATA: The West Bengal Bharatiya Janata Party’s initiative to bring Union Home Minister Amit Shah and other national leaders to inaugurate Durga Pujas in Kolkata received a jolt after some organisers, who wanted the saffron camp’s prominent faces in the inaugural event, changed their decision.
Shah, for now, is scheduled to inaugurate only one puja in Kolkata’s adjoining Salt Lake.
“He (Shah) will inaugurate a puja in Salt Lake,” said BJP’s West Bengal president Dilip Ghosh.
According to sources, Shah will inaugurate the BJ block puja at Salt Lake.
At least seven puja organisers had requested the party’s state leadership to bring Shah and other prominent faces of the party, to inaugurate the puja pandals.
“The leadership in Delhi wanted us to send them a final list of pujas which Shah will inaugurate. Accordingly, we contacted the puja organisers but they said they changed their decision. We inquired about it and came to know the organisers were under pressure from Trinamool leaders in Kolkata,” said a BJP leader.
The BJP in Bengal initiated a move to take control of the puja organisers and involve its leaders in puja inaugurations to challenge Trinamool’s supremacy in organising Bengal’s biggest festival.
“In districts, state-level BJP leaders will inaugurate nearly 200 puja pandals. It is possible because our party’s base in the district is much stronger than what we have in Kolkata,’’ said another BJP leader.