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Mamata on puja launch spree

Mamata Banerjee’s triple triumph at the bypolls and in court has brought cheer to puja organisers. Flooded with inauguration requests, she confirmed on Thursday that she would do the honours at 24 pandals.

“We just received her schedule, which says she would inaugurate two dozen pujas by Sashthi evening,” said a source in the chief minister’s office in the evening.

There was no word on why the consent came so late but according to insiders, Mamata had been waiting for the bypoll verdict and the Singur judgment. She inaugurated her first puja on Wednesday evening.

“The chief minister was very happy yesterday. Now that the stress is gone, she has consented to inaugurate some pujas and visit as many pandals as possible during the festival,” said an official.

On Thursday evening, Mamata inaugurated six pujas, including those at Md Ali Park and Chetla Agrani Sangha, organised by urban development minister Firhad Hakim.

The other pujas Mamata is likely to launch includes PHE minister Subrata Mukherjee’s Ekdalia Evergreen, sports minister Madan Mitra’s Bhowanipore Sankharipara, PWD and transport minister Subrata Bakshi’s Bhowanipore Sarbojanin, industry minister Partha Chatterjee’s Naktala Udayani Sangha, mayor Sovan Chatterjee’s Behala Nutan Dal and MLA Arup Biswas’s Suruchi Sangha.

The only person who can give Mamata competition in puja inauguration is governor M.K. Narayanan, who will inaugurate 29 pujas by Sashthi night, including the puja organised by Raj Bhavan Sarbojonin Durgotsav Committee. He inaugurated seven pujas on Thursday and will inaugurate nine, 11 and two pujas on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

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