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PM Modi likely to deliver message for Bengal on Durga Puja

For the first time, the women’s wing of West Bengal BJP will be organising Durga puja, the biggest festival of the state, in an apparent bid to gain political mileage ahead of next year’s Assembly election, a party leader said on Wednesday.

The puja will be held at the Eastern Zonal Cultural Centre in Salt Lake which is close to Kolkata. The EZCC is under the overall supervision of the Union Ministry of Culture and the West Bengal governor is its chairman.

“The Mahila Morcha and the cultural cell of the party have been given the responsibility to organise Durga Puja at EZCC this year. This is the first time that we are organising a puja,” BJP women wing state president Agnimitra Paul said.

Cultural programmes will also be held during the festival.

Asked why the party is organising the puja, a senior state BJP leader alleged that the ruling Trinamool Congress had stopped various community puja committees from allowing BJP leaders to get associated with them.

“What would you do when you are not allowed to be part of puja committees? You will organise a Durga puja on your own. That’s what we are doing,” the BJP leader said.

BJP state president Dilip Ghosh, however, said the party is not directly involved in organising the puja.

“It is being organised by our cultural and women’s wings. The party is not directly involved in it,” he said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to deliver a message on October 22 for the people of West Bengal on the occasion of Durga puja, state party vice-president Pratap Banerjee said.

TMC supremo and chief minister Mamata Banerjee has announced that Durga puja this year will be held in the state adhering strictly to Covid-19 safety protocol.

After decades of its limited presence in the politically polarised state, the BJP has emerged as the main rival to the ruling Trinamool Congress winning 18 of its 42 Lok Sabha seats in the 2019 general elections.

With the BJP’s strength increasing manifold in the last few years in the state, where it has never been in power, party leaders have expressed confidence that it will end Banerjee’s 10-year rule in the Assembly polls likely to be held in April-May next year.

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