The Durga Puja is all set once more to show right into a political battlefield between Bengal’s ruling occasion Trinamool Congress and its major rival within the state, the BJP. Final 12 months, Mr Amit Shah had inaugurated a Durga Puja in Kolkata’s Salt Lake amid a lot controversy. This time, with meeting elections simply months away, the BJP is deploying Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has had the primary mover benefit. She has nearly inaugurated 69 Durga Puja pandals at present in 10 districts. The inauguration spree will proceed over the following two days, remotely and in individual.
On October 22, the Prime Minister will take part nearly in a Durga Puja being organised by the BJP’s Mahila Morcha and its cultural wing at EZCC, a cultural centre run by Central authorities’s Ministry of Tradition.
22 Oct is “Shashti” — the primary day of the Durga Puja and PM Modi will greet the individuals of Bengal on a number of digital platforms as they start 5 days of worship.
The venue shall be decked up as a typical Durga pandal with a full dimension idol of Goddess Durga.
Mr Sambit Patra might recite the “Chandi path” from the scriptures. However that plan might change to keep away from Mr Patra being labelled an outsider. It’s a label the Trinamool is more and more utilizing for BJP leaders, so a neighborhood Purohit might provoke the worship.
Final 12 months, the BJP had made a concerted effort to make an entry into Durga Puja pandal circuit in Bengal however not, in line with sources, with stellar success.
At two main pandals in Kolkata, BJP leaders who had been members of Puja organising committees had been edged out, the BJP claims, by Trinamool’s stress techniques.
The Trinamool has at all times denied these fees and House Minister Amit Shah did inaugurate a puja pandal in BJ Block Salt Lake. However the organising committee and the neighbourhood was divided over it.
The BJP claims the native Trinamool-run civic physique even threatened to withdraw providers to the pandal.
So this 12 months, the BJP has been left with no various however organise its personal Durga Puja, sources say. State BJP chief Dilip Ghosh insists the occasion shouldn’t be instantly getting concerned in holding a Durga puja, but when the cultural wing and the ladies’s wing need to do one thing they’re welcome.
Mr Ghosh is clearly choosing his battles. The Trinamool has an enormous benefit as during the last 10 years, Mamata Banerjee has made her presence at Puja pandals so sturdy that at some pandals prior to now, the Durga idols appeared just like the chief minister, dressed like her and even wore the trademark hawai chappals.
The BJP can be conscious that breaking into the Durga Puja circuit is a problem provided that the federal government has prolonged money incentives to Durga Puja committees. There are some 37,000 Puja pandals within the state at present and the Chief Minister has introduced a grant of fifty,000 rupees to every.
The Durga Puja is such an intrinsic a part of Bengali life, tradition and psyche, the BJP can not distance itself from it. It has to compete for area and the prime minister himself appears set to hitch the battle.