KOLKATA: UP government’s decision restricting Durga Puja is likely to soar up the mercury in poll-bound West Bengal's political landscape as the ruling TMC is gearing up to portray BJP's "anti-Bengali Hindu" stance over the Bengali’s biggest religious event.
BJP’s Rajya Sabha MP Swapan Dasgupta, too, castigated the UP government’s order saying it is unfair and even absurd and the TMC is going to use the statement to sharpen its attack aiming the BJP ahead of the crucial 2021 Assembly elections.
"UP Govt’s order that Durga Puja should be done at home is unfair & even absurd. Like the allowances for Ram Lila, Durga Puja should be permitted with harsh but sensible restrictions. Otherwise, it is discriminatory. Bengali Hindus in UP appeal to @myogiadityanath to review order," Dasgupta tweeted.
UP Govt’s order that Durga Puja should be done at home is unfair & even absurd. Like the allowances for Ram Lila, Durga Puja should be permitted with harsh but sensible restrictions. Otherwise it is discriminatory. Bengali Hindus in UP appeal to @myogiadityanath to review order— Swapan Dasgupta (@swapan55) September 29, 2020
Dasgupta, however, said he is hopeful that Yogi Adityanath’s government will review its order. "Organising Durga Puja at home is not an easy event to perform. In Uttar Pradesh, Durga Puja events are being organised for over 100 years. Durga Puja is not only a religious festival, it is an event that involves communities. I am hopeful that the UP government will review its order and allow the Durga Puja festival with strict restrictions," Dasgupta told The New Indian Express.
A senior TMC leader described Dasgupta’s tweet as an admission of BJP’s "anti-Bengali Hindu" stance. "PM Narendra Modi and BJP leader Amit Shah had held TMC chief Mamata Banerjee accused of not allowing Durga puja celebration in Bengal during their campaign in 2019 general elections. Now their party is practicing it in reality on the soil of Uttar Pradesh. The BJP is allowing Ram Lila without restrictions but not Durga Puja. It shows how the saffron camp treats Bengali Hindus and we will highlight under what circumstances the Bengalis are living in the BJP-ruled state."
The TMC leader further said the UP government’s decision and Dasgupta’s comment will change the ruling party’s poll narrative before the next year’s election and bring electoral dividend in favour of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.