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Festivities steal poll thunder

- Basanti Puja fervour amid Ramnavami preparations

Amid the election hurly-burly, devotees flocked to city temples and pandals on Sunday to celebrate Saptami of Basanti Durga Puja.

Hundreds thronged Beldih Kalibari, which is hosting the 31st edition of Basanti Durga Puja. The Puja was started in the temple by head priest Brahmananda Shastri, now deceased, under the banner of Bharatiya Yugavashistha Brahmananda Sangha.

Sources from the Kalibari said the temple was set up in 1933, but started hosting the Basanti Durga Puja from 1983.

Beldih Kalibari spokesperson Srinivas Rao said cultural performances started from Sunday.

Aamra Shobai Club in Sonari is hosting Basanti Durga Puja for the 35th year. The club has planned a host of events on the remaining Puja days. A sit-and-draw, a dance contest and a magic show were held on Sunday. A fancy dress event and a fun game for married women called Mrs Srimati have been slotted for Monday.

The city’s oldest Basanti Puja is being hosted by Sidhgora-based socio-spiritual outfit The Children of Ramakrishna. Hosting its 42nd edition of the Puja, organisers have lined up talks, debates and hold your breath, a ghazal programme.

Among apartments, Ashiana Suncity, Baliguma, Mango, is hosting Basanti Puja.

The city’s 110 registered akharas are gearing up to take out grand processions on Tuesday, the last day of Ramnavami. Some akharas held a kalashyatra from Subernarekha ghat on Saturday night.