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Mamata Banerjee jeers BJP event on Unesco’s Puja tag

Without naming Shah, the CM lashed out at the saffron leader when asked for her reaction to Friday’s event
Chief minister Mamata Banerjee at the Netaji indoor stadium in Calcutta on Thursday.
Chief minister Mamata Banerjee at the Netaji indoor stadium in Calcutta on Thursday.
Pradip Sanyal

Snehamoy Chakraborty   |   Calcutta   |   Published 06.05.22, 12:24 AM

Mamata Banerjee on Thursday slammed BJP leaders and the Centre for organising an event on Friday in Calcutta to celebrate Unesco’s recognition of the city’s Durga Puja, calling it an attempt by the BJP to get publicity.

The chief minister also did not forget to remind the people that BJP leaders during last year’s election campaign had accused the Bengal government of not allowing Durga Puja festivities in the state.


The United Nations educational, scientific and cultural organisation (Unesco) in December last year added Calcutta’s Durga Puja to its “Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity”' list.

“Earlier they (BJP leaders) used to say that Bengal (government) does not allow to organise Durga Puja. If Bengal did not allow it then how did you get the Unesco’s world heritage tag? Actually, they don’t follow Durga Puja. You all know they only follow riots. It is very good that you have come here to attend a programme after the festival received the Unesco’s world heritage tag,” said Mamata in a veiled reference to Union home minister Amit Shah.

During the 2021 Assembly polls campaign, several senior BJP leaders, including Shah, had repeatedly said that the Mamata Banerjee government did not allow ]Durga Puja in the state. Responding to it, Trinamul had then said that it was “a blatant lie” told to polarise voters in Bengal.

The Union ministry of culture and the Union home ministry are jointly organising an event at Victoria Memorial on Friday. Several state government officials said neither chief minister Mamata Banerjee nor anyone from her government were invited till late Thursday evening.

According to the schedule, government Jagdeep Dhankhar, four Union ministers of state from Bengal and leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Suvendu Adhikari are likely to attend the event on Friday evening with Shah.

Without naming Shah, Mamata lashed out at the BJP leader when asked for her reaction to Friday’s event.

“Please keep in your mind that the people of Bengal will not support you. Our deity Durga will also not go with you…We are proud that Durga Puja got the Unesco world heritage and it is the result of efforts of the state government, clubs and Puja committees… They (BJP) don’t have any contribution in this regard. They are trying to get some publicity (by organising the programme),” Mamata said.

Danseuse Dona Ganguly is scheduled to perform at Friday’s event at Victoria Memorial. Shah is likely to visit her husband, former Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly, at their residence on Friday evening. Its purpose, however, could not be ascertained.

Asked on this,  Mamata commented: “Please ask Sourav to buy rasogolla and doi for him (Shah)...” What is the problem if he goes? He had visited some places earlier as well…I’m happy.”

Shah’s plan to visit Sourav’s home comes on the heels of the BCCI president meeting Mamata at the state secretariat last Thursday. Sourav had requested the chief minister to provide alternative land for a stadium that the Cricket Association of Bengal intends to construct.

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