Durga Puja: Mamata's constituency awash in blue
By Shutapa Paul | ENS - KOLKATA
22nd October 2012 09:21 AM
A walk through Kolkata’s 75 Pally Durga Puja will vicariously transport you to the blue city of Jodhpur. It also represents West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s favourite colour medley of blue and white.
The puja in Didi’s Bhawanipore Assembly constituency is patronised by former Union Minister of State for Urban Development Saugata Roy and State Sports and Transport Minister Madan Mitra. Besides the pandal and lights, even the goddess is draped in a blue saree instead of the customary red.
“According to the West Bengal Chief Minister’s wishes for a blue and white city, we wanted to show how beautiful that city would look,” said Manik De, organiser, 75 Pally Durga Puja.
The organisers have left no stone unturned to showcase the CM’s vision to the masses. They have proudly painted even the surrounding buildings blue and white in keeping with the theme.
“Young people of the locality thought that the blue theme would be good,” Roy told Express.
The budget for this puja is pegged above Rs 20 lakh. Roy, who has been associated with this puja for the past eight to 10 years, is one of several senior TMC leaders who have played patrons to several ‘para’ or locality pujas. Most of these TMC leaders are state Cabinet ministers under whose aegis the pujas have scaled the popularity charts.
With the TMC coming to power in 2011, these pujas draw some of the biggest crowds and sponsorships. Other than Mitra, State Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim, State Panchayat Minister Subrata Mukherjee, State Industries and Commerce Minister Partha Chatterjee and MoS for Youth Services, Housing and Parliamentary Affairs Aroop Biswas are associated with various pujas.
Mitra also supports Agradut Uday Sangha Durga Puja in Bhawanipore, which has used one crore buttons in its pandal and dolls from Krishnanagar to depict Swami Vivekananda’s life. The theme is one of Didi’s pet topics and costs around `35 lakh.
Aroop Biswas’ Suruchi Sangha Durga Puja in New Alipore has Goa as its theme and is creating awareness about sea pollution.
“Our Durga Puja is the best in India and among the Bengali diaspora as well. I have been associated with this puja from my childhood and it is very close to my heart,” said Biswas.
The pandal depicting aquatic life has also recreated the famous Goan carnival, complete with dance troupes flown in from the country’s party capital. The budget is around `25 lakh.
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