Will pray to Maa Durga that corruption, atrocities end soon in Bengal: Amit Shah

Kolkata: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday inaugurated a Durga Puja in Kolkata and said he would pray to the goddess that “corruption and atrocities” end soon in West Bengal.

Shah, while emphasising that he wouldn’t delve into political matters, pledged to continue his fight in the state until a political transformation takes place.

The veteran saffron party leader’s comments drew a riposte from the ruling TMC that highlighted issues of “lawlessness” in BJP-governed states.

“I am not here to discuss politics, but I will continue to visit Bengal and pursue my fight until we witness a change in the state’s (political) landscape,” he stated, during the Durga Puja inauguration at the renowned Santosh Mitra Square.

The home minister added, “I would pray for an end to corruption, crime, and atrocities in the state at the earliest.”.

Shah also praised the organisers of the ‘pandal’ (marquee) design, which resembles the Ram temple in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh.

He noted, “The Ram Mandir in Ayodhya is set to be inaugurated in January. However, the people of Kolkata have already celebrated the temple’s inauguration through this Durga Puja pandal. I extend my congratulations to all of you for this remarkable effort.”.

In a taunt directed at Shah, the Trinamool Congress leadership pointed out that those who had once alleged that Durga Puja festivities were not allowed in West Bengal are now rushing to the state to inaugurate pandals.

TMC MP Santanu Sen remarked, “Those who had once attacked the ethos and culture of West Bengal, alleging that permission was not given to hold Durga Puja, are now coming to the state to inaugurate pandals.”.

Before spreading “unfounded allegations” against West Bengal, Shah should look at the “worsening” law and order situation in BJP-ruled states, especially Uttar Pradesh, Sen said.

In 2019, Shah had inaugurated a community Durga Puja in Salt Lake, located on the eastern fringes of the city.

The West Bengal BJP initiated its own Durga Puja celebrations in 2020, becoming the first and only party in the state to do so.

Subsequent editions were held in 2021 and 2022. However, the state BJP announced last year that it would not organise the puja from 2023.