Easterntimes, New Delhi, October 21,2020:New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to address the people of West Bengal on Thursday, when he inaugurates about 10 Durga Puja celebrations in the state. This would be the first time that he or any other central BJP leader has inaugurated Durga Puja celebrations in the state.
Before this year, BJP had failed in its attempts to associate with any of the puja committees in the state.
While there was an attempt last year to have then BJP chief Amit Shah inaugurate a couple of Durga Puja celebrations in Kolkata, it could not happen as BJP did not have enough clout to swing the deal in the Puja committees that organise the pujas.
But with 18 MPs in its kitty since the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the saffron party has gained enough muscle strength in the state to have its leaders involve themselves for the biggest social-cultural and religious festival that Bengal celebrates.
Apart from the EZCC Durga Puja, organised by the state BJP Mahila Morcha and another puja in Midnapore town, he will inaugurate pujas in north Bengal, according to party sources.
Neighbourhood Durga Puja celebrations in Kolkata have for long had a political tinge to it. In fact, it began way back during the days of British rule when freedom fighters like Subhash Chandra Bose turned the gathering into platforms to generate nationalist feelings among the masses.
Later, while political parties have kept out of it, many political leaders have associated with puja committees or patronised Durga Pujas and even other public puja celebrations like Kali Puja.