In a bid to reach out to the people during festive season, the BJP is making efforts to bring national leaders such as party president and Home Minister Amit Shah and others to inaugurate Durga Pujas in Kolkata.
“We are holding talks with some of the puja organisers to bring Amit Shah ji and other central ministers to inaugurate Durga pujas here. We have been asked by our central leadership to focus on Durga Puja to reach out to the people,” said state BJP general secretary Sayantan Basu.
Sources in the party said, the party intends to win the sentiment of the Bengalis through this initiative, as Durga Puja is the most popular Bengali festival.
“Since coming to power in 2011, the TMC has single-handedly enjoyed all the limelight when it comes to organise Durga Pujas. Mamata Banerjee is the most popular face, who inaugurates a large number of pujas. Besides, many senior TMC leaders are also associated with puja committees. We want central leaders to come here and inaugurate Durga Pujas to connect with people,” said a senior BJP leader on condition of anonymity.
When it comes to festivals, the BJP has organised rallies during Ram Navami and Hanuman Jayanti as well as organised Ganesh Puja in limited areas. However, their leaders so far have stayed away from Durga Puja.
The TMC leaders, however, remained unfazed over BJP’s attempt to “politicise” the Bengali festival. “We have been organising Durga Puja even before we came to power. We do not organise such pujas to connect with people. This has been our tradition. The BJP is doing this to politicise the festival. We do not believe in politicising any festival,” said senior TMC leader and state minister Subrata Mukherjee, who is associated with Ekdalia Evergreen Durga Puja.