In order to set the tone for Assembly elections in West Bengal slated to take place next year, the BJP will be organising a Durga Puja in Kolkata which will be inaugurated by none other than the Prime Minister himself on October 22 via a special webcast titled ‘Puja ki Baat’, as per reports.
Reports have mentioned that PM Modi’s address will be for the general public through a webcast. It is scheduled on October 22, on the first day of the 5-day festival.
The Durga Puja which will be organised at Eastern Zonal Cultural Centre in Salt Lake is being seen as BJP’s attempt to connect with the Bengali voters. This is probably the first time that a puja will be organised under the banner of a political party.
The organiser-in-charge of the Durga Puja, Locket Chatterjee, who is the General Secretary of the BJP in the state, said that the puja will be a puja by the BJP family like many families who celebrate the puja at their homes. “Many families celebrate Durga Puja at their home. Similarly, it will be a puja of BJP family”, she said. BJP State President Dilip Ghosh told that the puja is not being organised by the party directly, it is being organised by party’s women and cultural wings.
BJP has alleged that the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) did not allow BJP leaders to participate in Pujas where they were invited by the organisers. BJP’s state Vice President Jay Prakash Mazumdar said that a narrow-minded politics was being played over Durga Puja over last few years and several BJP leaders were kept out from big-ticket puja committees. “So this year we will do our own Durga Puja. It will be concluded in accordance with Bengali tradition”, he said. The BJP leadership in the state has assured that social distancing will be followed during the Puja.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has also decided for the first time to inaugurate Durga Puja in several pandals through virtual platforms.
Amit Shah postpones visit to West Bengal
Home Minister Amit Shah who was expected to visit West Bengal on October 17 has postponed his visit and he will first visit poll-bound Bihar. Shah is now expected to visit West Bengal after the Puja is over. He will be chairing organisational meetings with party functionaries in the state during his visit. BJP National President JP Nadda will be visiting West Bengal on October 19 and will chair meetings with BJP workers including booth-level workers.