KOLKATA: Trinamool supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee turned down the leave applications of all the ministers of her cabinet and directed them not to leave their constituencies during the festive days.
Only finance minister Amit Mitra was spared. Mamata will be staying at her Kalighat residence for the next four days and shall monitor the law and order situation in the state and will be functioning round-the-clock during the period of festivities.
Mamata’s diktat to her ministers was said to be due to the BJP’s deep inroads in the state in the Lok Sabha elections and the saffron camp’s continuous attempts to participate in Durga Puja, Bengal’s biggest festival.
The newly emerged opposition of the ruling party in the state has already set up 1,000 stalls in and around Kolkata to display and sell the party’s literature, a model that the Left had adopted decades ago to reach out to the masses.
BJP’s state president Dilip Ghosh along with various other saffron party leaders inaugurated around 200 puja pandals across the state.
“The chief minister asked us not to leave our constituencies because of the BJP’s desperate attempts to replace us in the biggest festival. We have been asked to visit puja pandals in our areas extensively and interact with people irrespective of their caste, creed and groups,” said a minister in Mamata’s cabinet.