KOLKATA: Stressing that Durga puja celebrations should not be politicised, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday asked people to be on their guard against those trying to use the occasion to spread misinformation.
In a retort, Union minister Babul Supriyo said Banerjee "should have kept politics out of the festival".
The TMC supremo, after inaugurating a south Kolkata puja, asserted that any attempt to fuel trouble during the five-day festival should be thwarted.
"This is Bengal's biggest festival. Every household, every locality take part in the celebrations. Some may, however, try to use the occasion to spread rumours and misinformation. Please be on guard against them," she said, without naming any political party or individual. "Any attempt to politicise Durga puja, foment trouble should be thwarted," she added.
The chief minister's advice comes amid reports that senior saffron party leaders from Delhi, including party president Amit Shah, may visit the state to inaugurate big- ticket Durga pujas.
BJP working president J P Nadda, who is in the city, is expected to attend a party-organised programme on Saturday on the occasion of Mahalaya -- which marks the arrival of Goddess Durga.
Shah, during his visit on October 1, is also expected to address a seminar on National Register of Citizens.
The party's women wing has announced several programmes on the occasion of Mahalaya.
Lambasting Banerjee for inaugurating a community puja before Mahalaya, Union minister Babul Supriyo said "it harmed the sanctity of the festival".
"I fail to understand why the CM should talk about politics at a Durga Puja inauguration. Can't she rise above her political identity?" Supriyo told reporters here.
The BJP MP also accused Banerjee of chanting wrong Sanskrit hymns during her speech. "She made mistakes while chanting the Sanskrit hymns, but that is okay I, too, made a wrong statement on Iswarchandra Vidyasagar.
Mistakes happen," he said, referring to his recent tweet, in which he wrongfully credited the polymath with ending the practice of 'Sati'.
Sati practice was abolished in 1829 by efforts of another social reformer, Raja Ram Mohan Roy.