Fight for mileage: Durga Puja politics heats up in Bengal

To maintain the TMC's  dominance over puja organisers, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced a fund of Rs 25,000 each for 28,000 puja committees in Bengal. Last year the grant was Rs 10,000.

Published: 09th September 2019 10:42 AM  |   Last Updated: 09th September 2019 10:42 AM   |  A+A-

Durga Puja, Bengal’s biggest annual festival will begin from October 4 | file photo

Express News Service

KOLKATA: As West Bengal gears up to celebrate Durga Puja next month, the race to gain political mileage through the annual festival has already started gaining momentum. With the BJP storming Trinamool bastions in the Lok Sabha polls taking its tally to 18 from 2, an all-out jostling for the control of puja committees are underway in some pockets of the state.

To maintain the party’s dominance over puja organisers, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced a fund of Rs 25,000 each for 28,000 puja committees in Bengal. Last year the grant was Rs 10,000.
“The fund has been increased to resist BJP’s attempt to challenge our party’s supremacy in organising Durga Puja. It has been decided the party’s local leaders will display the state government’s success and development works near puja pandals using banners and flexes,’’ said a senior Trinamool leader.

Meanwhile, the saffron party’s deep inroads in Bengal triggered enthusiasm to fill the ‘religious vacuum’. There were about 1,200 Ganesh Chaturthi pandals in 2017 that rose to nearly 2,000 this year.

BJP leaders in Kolkata claimed hundreds of Durga Puja committees contacted them and requesting national leaders like Union Home Minister Amit Shah to inaugurate their pujas. The BJP’s Bengal unit is tight-lipped about the puja organisers who invited the party leaders to be part of their puja committees.  BJP leader Tushar Kanti Ghosh,in-charge of the party’s puja related co-ordination, said, “The trend to approach the BJP to inaugurate puja pandals is very high this year.’’

Trinamool heavyweights like MLA Sujit Bose, sports minister Aroop Biswas, rural development minister Subrata Mukherjee and urban development minister Firhad Hakim are closely associated with Kolkata’s biggest Durga Puja clubs.

Stay up to date on all the latest Nation news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp