There Is uncertainty over the venue of next year’s Durga Puja as the Bengal Cultural Association (BCA), which has been organising the celebrations in the city for over seven decades, was told to stop the sale of non-vegetarian food items at the stalls by Ahmedabad Education Society (AES). A plot belonging to AES has been the venue for the puja for the last decade.
Due to the “last-minute ban” on sale of non-vegetarian food, the BCA will now look for a new venue for next year’s celebrations.
BCA trustees said that they were told that the governing body of the AES does not want any non-vegetarian food to be served on their ground, just a few days before the puja.
“With this new diktat, the venue will be shifted next year. Not far from the city as it will make it difficult for the devotees to visit the pandal,” said Kanak Das Adhikary, secretary, BCA.
Among more than a dozen puja pandals organised by different Bengali associations, representing nearly 3.5 lakh Bengali population in the city, the BCA’s is the oldest and largest.
Krishnendu Ghose, an advocate and lifetime member of the BCA, said, “The religious event has been turned into a political issue. You cannot impose a ban on the food habits of a particular community.”
Meanwhile, the BCA said the “ban” on non-vegetarian food did not affect the footfall at pandals. However, it said that revenue at food stalls took a hit.