Bengal BJP rift resurfaces as leaders take different stands on organizing Durga Puja

BJP’s state observer Kailash Vijayvargiya and national vice president Mukul Roy were seen busy organising the religious festival in full swing.

Published: 19th October 2020 04:03 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th October 2020 09:03 AM   |  A+A-

Labourers carrying an idol of Goddess Durga on their way to a puja pandal ahead of the Durga Puja festival in Kolkata Sunday Oct. 18 2020. (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

KOLKATA: Bengal BJP’s internal rift surfaced again over the issue of organising Durga Puja under the banner of the party.

While the state president Dilip Ghosh said it would be a single-day event and not Puja, the party leaders involved in organising the event said the Goddess will be worshipped following all rituals for four days.  

BJP’s state observer Kailash Vijayvargiya and national vice president Mukul Roy were seen busy organising the religious festival in full swing.

A day after BJP leaders announced the decision to organise the Puja, Ghosh said, “It will not be a puja. BJP’s job is not organising puja. There will be a one-day event where Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address via a special webcast titled Puja Ki Baat.”

However, state vice president Jayprakash Majumdar said it would be the party’s puja that will be celebrated for four days following all rituals. 

BJP’s move to organise the puja in Salt Lake is said to be first of its kind in the recent history of Bengal’s religious festivals and appears to be an attempt to woo the electorates ahead of 2021 Assembly elections.

The venue will be the Eastern Zonal Cultural Centre’s building which is under the Union Ministry of Culture.

Meanwhile, BJP has denied that there was any political motive behind the announcement that Dona Ganguly, wife of Saurav Ganguly, will peform at the puja.

The former Indian cricket skipper has been rumored as possible face for BJP in the state.  

As part of its strategy to connect with the masses during the festive season, the saffron  party has made arrangements to live-stream Prime Minister Narendra Modi's address to the people of the state, sources said.

According to the sources, Modi's virtual address on 'Maha Sasthi' -- which marks the beginning of the five-day festival -- will set the tone for Durga puja this year.

"Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji's address will be streamed live at EZCC as well as 10 other puja pandals across the state. The names of the ten pandals are yet to be finalized," BJP state vice-president Partap Banerjee said.

The party will also set up giant screens in several parts of the state to broadcast his speech.

Eyes set on Assembly elections, likely to held in April-May next year, both the TMC and the BJP are going all out to woo people and strengthen their vote banks.

With the BJP's strength having increased manifold over the last few years in Bengal, where it has never been in power, party leaders have expressed confidence that the saffron surge will end Mamata Banerjee's decade-long rule in the state.

(With PTI Inputs)

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