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regular-article-logo Wednesday, 29 May 2024

State Day to be observed on Poila Boisakh, but politicians to miss events for poll code

The Election Commission has given the government the go-ahead to organise the programmes to mark the day but with a rider that no political personality will be allowed to attend the events

Snehamoy Chakraborty Calcutta Published 13.04.24, 10:37 AM
Representational image

Representational image File picture

State Day will be observed on the occasion of Poila Boisakh on Sunday for the first time across Bengal but chief minister Mamata Banerjee and her cabinet colleagues will not attend any programme because of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) that is in force.

The Election Commission has given the government the go-ahead to organise the programmes to mark the day but with a rider that no political personality will be allowed to attend the events.

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While the state-level programme will be organised in front of Rabindra Sadan in Calcutta, the administration has instructed officials to observe the day at district, subdivisional and block levels.

“The government directed us to observe the State Day through a notification issued on March 13. However, as the MCC is in force, we will have to stick to the guidelines issued by the Election Commission. According to the EC’s instruction, no political personality will attend any event organised by the government,” an official of the Birbhum district administration said.

In September last year, the Bengal Assembly passed a resolution, declaring Poila Boisakh, which marks the start of the Bengali lunar calendar, as Banlga Dibas or State Day and Rabindranath Tagore’s Banlgar Mati Banglar Jol as the state anthem.

Mamata was behind the decision to fix the State Day for Bengal to counter the BJP’s attempt to announce June 20 as the "statehood day".

Before the State Day resolution was passed in the Assembly, Mamata had held a meeting with representatives of the state’s art, culture, business, academia, sports and a few religious bodies, where the celebration of the State Day on Poila Boisakh was endorsed. The information and cultural department will finalise the design of the banner and the decoration of the programme.

An official said chief secretary B.P. Gopalika was likely to be present at the State Day event in Calcutta, while district magistrates would attend the programmes in their respective districts. State government officials will lead programmes at subdivisional and block levels.

“However, the government has asked us to strictly follow the MCC and not allow any MP, MLA, candidate or political leaders to participate in those events,” an official said.

According to the government’s notification, a short procession with hoardings and banners of Bengal’s culture and heritage will be taken out wherever the State Day will be observed. This will be followed by speeches by local academics, researchers and eminent persons and the singing of the state anthem.

Trinamul insiders said although the party leaders would be unable to participate in the state programmes, they could be present at the events that social outfits and clubs would conduct.

“The people of Bengal have a different cultural connection with Poila Boisakh and a slew of events are organised in different places on this occasion,” said a senior Trinamul leader.

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