SKY NEWS Correspondent
New Delhi October 15th
Battle lines have been drawn between the BJP and Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress for the assembly polls in West Bengal, scheduled to be held next year. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will participate virtually in a Durga Puja being organised by the BJP’s Mahila Morcha and its cultural wing at EZCC, a cultural centre run by the central government’s Ministry of Culture. The puja will be held at the Eastern Zonal Cultural Centre in Salt Lake which is close to Kolkata. Cultural programmes will also be held during the festival. Battle lines been drawn between the BJP and Mamata Banerjee’s Tri
Asked why the party is organising the puja, a senior state BJP leader alleged that the ruling Trinamool Congress had stopped various community puja committees from allowing BJP leaders to get associated with them. “What would you do when you are not allowed to be part of puja committees? You will organise a Durga puja on your own. That’s what we are doing,” the BJP leader said. BJP state president Dilip Ghosh, however, said the party is not directly involved in organising the puja.
“It is being organised by our cultural and women’s wings. The party is not directly involved in it,” he said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to deliver a message on October 22 for the people of West Bengal on the occasion of Durga puja, state party vice-president Pratap Banerjee said.
TMC supremo and chief minister Mamata Banerjee has announced that Durga puja this year will be held in the state adhering strictly to Covid-19 safety protocol. After decades of its limited presence in the politically polarised state, the BJP has emerged as the main rival to the ruling Trinamool Congress winning 18 of its 42 Lok Sabha seats in the 2019 general elections.
With the BJP’s strength increasing manifold in the last few years in the state, where it has never been in power, party leaders have expressed confidence that it will end Banerjee’s 10-year rule in the Assembly polls likely to be held in April-May next year.