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TMC blames BJP politicising festival as Amit Shah requests to inaugurate Kolkata Durga Puja

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Kolkata, Sep 13: Amidst accusations by the ruling Trinamool Congress that BJP is politicising Durga Puja, Bengal's biggest festival which is less than a month away, a city Puja committee has requested Union Home Minister Amit Shah to inaugurate their puja this year.

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Senior BJP leader, Mukul Roy said on Thursday that the decision to invite Shah had been taken by the puja organisers themselves and the party had no role to play in it. The letter to Shah was sent on September 11.

Charging the state unit of the saffron party with "politicising" Durga Puja festival, senior Trinamool Congress leader, minister and patron of the well known Ekdalia Evergreen Durga Puja committee, Subrata Mukherjee said "BJP is setting a bad trend."

A spokesman of the pujo committee of Friends Club of Triangular Park in south Kolkata said on Friday, "We are not associated with any political party, we don't have any political colour.

"We are inviting Shri Amit Shahji as the union home minister. His presence will make the people of the locality proud," the spokesman said.

Roy denied that BJP is trying to meddle with the Durga Puja celebrations in the state. He showed newsmen a copy of the letter to Shah's office by the puja organisers and said "We (BJP) don't believe in doing politics with Bengal's biggest festival with which the emotion and sentiment of the people are involved."

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"We (state BJP) had merely forwarded the letter to Shah's office as requested by the club authorities," he said. Mukherjee said, "Now a party has suddenly come up which is not even hesitating to spoil the mood of Durga Puja celebrations by bringing in persons who had never been part of our Durga Puja".

Sanghasree, an old and well-known community Durga Puja had to drop its plans to invite Shah for the inauguration after protests by Trinamool sympathizers in it about a month ago. It had also disbanded the puja committee chaired by BJP leader Sayantan Basu and had formed a new one with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's brother Kartik Banerjee at the helm.

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Basu had then said that Trinamool Congress was afraid of losing control over the Durga puja committees but not less than 50 of them will be inaugurated by central and state-level BJP leaders.

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