Politics makes way into Durga Puja celebrations

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

KOLKATA - The political clamour between the Marxists and the Trinamool Congress has now found its way into the main religious festival of West Bengal - the Durga Puja.

To prevent pollution, the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) set up mini waste bins around the seven ghats in the city for flowers and engaged hundreds of personnel to control the crowds at the ghats and remove the disintegrating idols from the water soon after their immersion.

The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), the main opposition in the KMC, has pulled up the Trinamool Congress-ruled board for allegedly engaging its own workers for the clean-up work.

“They have turned Durga puja into a political platform. The personnel engaged by the KMC are flaunting jerseys featuring Trinamool symbols. These people have been engaged with the money given by civic tax payers. Then why should they flaunt jerseys featuring TMC symbols? This is not done,” said Faiyaz Ahmed Khan, CPI-M leader and ex-councillor of KMC.

The Trinamool Congress, however, rubbished the allegation.

“It is a baseless allegation. What matters is the clean up of the ghats in the city during the immersion ceremony of Durga Puja. We are dedicated to this cause of making the ghats of the Ganges clean and we will do it,” said KMC mayor-in-council (sewerage and drainage) Rajib Deb.

After four days of Puja merriment came to an end on Bijoya Dashami Sunday, long queues formed up at the ghats for the immersion of idols of Durga and her four children.

This is not the first instance of politics making inroads into the Durga Puja.

This year the marquee at the Santosh Mitro Square community puja in North Kolkata was modelled on Writers’ Buildings, the seat of power of the Left Front government, with the theme “Dori Dhore Maro Taan/Raja Hobe Khaan Khaan” - meaning pull the rope and the king will fall, leaving little to imagination as to what the intended message is ahead of next year’s assembly polls.

A prominent Congress leader of the city is the main organiser of the community puja.

Filed under: Politics

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