Durga Puja committee to be inaugurated by Amit Shah

Durga Puja committee to be inaugurated by Amit Shah

AFP photo for representation

Divisions came to the fore in the committee of a Durga Puja here on Sunday over inviting Union Home Minister Amit Shah to inaugurate it on October 1.

The row erupted after a section of the members of the B J Block Durga Puja in Salt Lake in the eastern fringes of the city claimed they were not consulted before inviting Shah.

B J Block Puja committee President Umashankar Ghosh Dastidar told reporters that Shah has given his consent to inaugurate the puja at 7 pm on the fixed date.

"Since the puja committee is inviting a union minister for the first time, certain issues could not be discussed with all the members and people in the locality due to security reasons," he said.

However, another committee member, who claimed to represent the dissident members, said they did not want to give a "political colour" to the puja.

"We have nothing against Amit Shah, he is the home minister of our country. We are proud of India and some of the decisions taken in recent times to protect our nation.

"However, he is also a top leader of the BJP. We don't want the over three-decade-old B J Block puja to be coloured by politics, by inviting someone who has no connection with the locality," he said.

The committee member claimed this was the sentiment of a large number of people in the neighbourhood.

However, Ghosh Dastidar said that apart from Shah, Bidhananagar Municipal Corporation Mayor Krishna Chakraborty and West Bengal state minister Sujit Bose have also been invited to the inauguration.

He said on previous occasions, several West Bengal state ministers and then Governor K N Tripathi had inaugurated the puja.

BJP state General Secretary Sayantan Basu said Shah will inaugurate the B J Block Puja on October 1.

"It has been shortlisted for inauguration by Amit Shah among five pujas of the city," he said.

Earlier, Sayantan Basu had become the president of the committee of a well-known Durga Puja in south Kolkata and had proposed to invite Amit Shah to inaugurate it.

However, soon after the proposal, the committee was dissolved in early August and Basu removed from it.

A new committee was formed with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's brother Kartik Banerjee at its helm.

The committee had then dropped the plan to invite Amit Shah for the inauguration of the Durga Puja.

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