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PM Modi to Virtually Celebrate Durga Puja with West Bengal Citizens on October 22

File photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

File photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

While CM Banerjee will be on a virtual spree inaugurating pujas, Modi will make his debut in Bengal and celebrate Durga Puja at around noon on October 22.

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Payal Mehta

Durga Puja in West Bengal this time will have massive political messaging ahead of the Assembly polls next year. It will be a big political faceoff between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. While Banerjee will be on a virtual spree inaugurating pujas, Modi will make his debut in Bengal and celebrate Durga Puja at around noon on October 22.

BJP general secretary and Bengal in-charge Kailash Vijayvargiya told CNN-News18, “It is a big occasion for all of us as the Prime Minister joins Bengal in paying respects to the goddess Durga and praying for the well-being of the state.”

Bengal BJP vice-president Pratap Banerjee, also overseeing the preparation, said, “We are still zeroing down on the puja pandal which we will connect virtually with the PM. It is expected to be one of the traditional ones in North Kolkata."

There will be a series of cultural programmes by women and children. Those in the know say Modi’s address will take place after it, for close to 40 minutes, in which he will highlight how the nation has fought the coronavirus pandemic as one.

Modi is also likely to criticise Banerjee -- speaking of a government of misrule, corruption and violence and how the BJP can bring ‘paribarton’ (change).

“It will be a day on which party workers can celebrate this festival with PM. It's not an interactive session,” said Vijayvargiya. “However, given the PM’s popularity, it is expected that people in lakhs will connect through BJP social media.”

“Even if a large number of people would like to be present at the pandal connecting virtually with PM, we would restrict the number of those physically present and will adhere to all Covid-19 protocols,” said Pratap Banerjee.

Home Minister Amit Shah had toured Kolkata during Durga Puja last year.

The TMC government in the state has announced that Durga Puja this year will be held adhering strictly to the Covid-19 protocol.

"Delhi did not give permission except CR Park. Other states like Uttar Pradesh didn't even allow. We will allow celebrations but my only request is that everyone should wear masks and follow all precautionary protocols," she said on Monday.

Banerjee will inaugurate pandals in Kolkata virtually from her office between October 15-17.


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