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CPI-M accuses Jaitley of sending feelers to Mamata

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Kolkata: Taking strong exception to union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley taking a dig at West Bengal’s erstwhile Left Front government, the CPI-M on Sunday accused him of sending out feelers to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her Trinamool Congress. Speaking at the launch of the Bandhan Bank here, Jaitley sarcastically remarked that there was flight of capital from the state when it was painted ‘red’- the colour symbolising the Marxists, who spearheaded the Left Front. “I recollect my days from the younger years when I used to see this city painted red. And when it was painted red, of course new institutions were not being born,” he said, adding then the existing companies were shifting out and even intellectuals were leaving the state.

Attributing the Left Front policies for Bandhan’s growth into a bank from a micro finance institution, Communist Party of India-Marxist MP Mohammad Salim slammed Jaitley for his barbs. “Despite participating in a private event, Jaitley preferred to look out for political colors, which are unwarranted. Bandhan has become what it is today not because Jaitley is at the centre or her friend Mamata is ruling Bengal.

“It is because, for the last two decades self help groups have flourished and the rural economy of the state has improved. Jaitley must be aware of the history, Because of the impetus to ground level entrepreneurship (by the Left) Bandhan is Bandhan now,” said Salim. “Actually by saying all this he is sending out a message to Mamata Banerjee that look I am an opponent of the CPI-M,” he added. State Congress president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury did not find Jaitley’s assurances of contributing towards Bengal development convincing. “As a finance minister he is suppose to ensure that politics doesn’t come in between the state’s development, his assurances are welcome. But what are the centre’s plan for Bengal. We did not hear anything from him on that,” said Chowdhury.

(IANS)

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Mamata cares for Mukesh Ambani, not for those dying from dengue: Vijayvargiya

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Mamata cares for Mukesh Ambani, not for those dying from dengue: Vijayvargiya

Canning (West Bengal): BJP national General Secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya on Thursday slammed West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for meeting industrialist Mukesh Ambani in Mumbai at a time when her state is in the grip of dengue.

“You are in Mumbai to meet Mukesh Ambani. A 21-year-old youth died in Kolkata’s alleys due to lack of treatment. You don’t care for him but you care for Mukesh Ambani because he is a crorepati and he will give you funds for elections.

“Thousands of people are dying in the state from dengue. But shameless government and shameless CM is saying it’s not dengue but something else… ,” he said here.

Banerjee on Tuesday met Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani and requested him to invest in her state.

The Chief Minister had a one and half hour meeting with Ambani soon after reaching the country’s financial capital where she is scheduled to attend a business conclave on Wednesday.

Banerjee later told reporters that Ambani would attend the Bengal Global Business Summit organised by her government in January 16-17 in Kolkata.

Vijayvargiya also took potshots at the higher education system in the state.

“Calcutta University is at the 800th position among 1000 varsities. You are downgrading the level of education in the state. It’s has gone down so much that now CU is giving D.Litt to Mamata. Where one time CU had given D.Litt to Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore, now it’s Mamata. Where is Raja Bhoj, where is Gangu Teli?” he mocked.(IANS)

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Durga Puja in Bengal to showcase its cross-cultural and trans-boundary influences

Months of protests and violence in the Darjeeling hills has failed to dampen the spirit of the Nepali population in Siliguri and in state capital Kolkata

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Durga Puja in West Bengal
Durga Puja. Wikimedia
  • Durga Puja in West Bengal has evolved into a platform of its cross-cultural and trans-boundary influences 
  • Months of protests and violence in the Darjeeling hills has failed to dampen the spirit of the Nepali population in Siliguri and in state capital Kolkata
  • In Kolkata, the Nepali consulate is expected to host around 100 to 150 members of the community from different parts of Bengal on Dasain

Kolkata/Siliguri, September 22, 2017: From goddess Durga draped in traditional Nepali attire for the grand celebration of Dasain, to the resplendent White Temple of Thailand to glimpses of London and the US — Durga Puja in West Bengal is not only a showcase of the state’s artistic heritage but has also evolved into a platform of its cross-cultural and trans-boundary influences.

Geopolitical tensions notwithstanding, slices of soft diplomacy and globalisation are on show in a clutch of pandals (marquees) in the state.

Take Dasain celebrations in Siliguri, for example.

Months of protests and violence in the Darjeeling hills has failed to dampen the spirit of the Nepali population in Siliguri (located at the base of the hill) and in state capital Kolkata where they are gearing up to celebrate the Nepali version of Durga Puja with pomp and splendour.

Recognised by the splotches of vermillion, rice and curd (“tika”) on the foreheads and the prominent sprigs of barley sprouts (jamara) tucked behind one’s ear, Dasain or Vijaya Dashami — Nepal’s biggest festival — has been observed in Siliguri for 25 years by its oldest social organisation, Bhanu Bhakta Samiti.

“Dasain is celebrated with the participation of all communities: Nepali, Bengali, Marwari, Bihari and others. Everyone is welcomed and people, cutting across political party lines, join in the revelry. The Bengalis even offer ‘anjali’ (floral offerings). The Gorkhaland issue is a political one and we do not let it affect our celebrations,” Krishna Lama (Pemba) of the Samiti told IANS.

“We have been having the Durga idol since the last three years. From Sashthi (September 26), we will begin the worship of the protima (idol). She will be dressed in traditional attire and we have roped in designer Alka Sharma for the costumes. Jamara (pot with wheat sprouts) is indispensable to the festival,” Lama said.

Parents and older members of the family apply tika and place the jamara as blessings for the younger ones. The jamara also signifies “shakti”.

In Kolkata, the Nepali consulate is expected to host around 100 to 150 members of the community from different parts of Bengal on Dasain.

“Every year, for over 25 years, we have a Nepali Durga puja in front of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation building. Cultural programmes are organised and representatives of around 32 samitis (clubs) across Bengal join in,” an official of the consulate told IANS.

Also readDurga Puja Pandal Decoration Catches Cinema Style, Baahubali Palace Will Be In Cruise This Year In Kolkata

Meanwhile, the Deshapriya Park committee, which registered the highest footfall for a pandal last year with five million visitors, has in store a slice of Thailand — a popular tourist destination for travellers from east India, served well with 2.5 hour-long flights.

It has recreated the 20th century Wat Rong Khun temple (or the White Temple) located just outside Chiang Rai in northern Thailand. The detailed all-white exterior with mirror trimmings stands out in stark contrast against the grassy park lawns.

Organisers have also replicated the temple’s piece-de-resistance: A mural depicting the burning Twin Towers as Angry Birds, Michael Jackson, Spiderman and other pop culture icons look on.

At Bhowanipore 75 <https://maps.google.com/?q=Bhowanipore+75&entry=gmail&source=g> Palli puja in south Kolkata, a stone’s throw from West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s residence, a 40,000 square feet area has been converted into a typical London street. The theme is aligned to Banerjee’s vision of transforming Kolkata into London.

With 2017 being the Indo-UK Year of Culture, the club has tied up with the British Council and London Sharod Utsav.

“Big Ben and Westminster will also be replicated in the area. The idol is crafted from mahogany and brass and decorated with dokra art. Post-puja we are planning to install the idol permanently in any one of the famous institutions of the UK like the British museum or University of London,” Club Secretary Subir Das said.

The Star Spangled Banner is prominent at Badamtala Asar Sangha in south Kolkata. The club is calling its celebration ‘West Wind’ in consonance with the Year of US-India Travel and Tourism Partnership.

“Visually the pandal resembles a street in a hi-tech American city at night. The design is complete with skyscrapers and multi-hued buildings and lights,” said Snehasish, one of the artistic heads. (IANS)

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Mamta Banerjee Issues Order for Stopping Durga Idol Immersions For a period of 24 Hours Due to Muharram Processions

Banerjee stated that no Durga idol immersion can be carried after 6 pm on Dashami (Sept 30) till October 1 due to Muharram processions

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Mamta Banerjee, the Chief Minister of West Bengal. Wikimedia
  • This year, Durga Puja and Muharram are falling on the same day
  • Banerjee stated that the immersions can be carried on October 2,3 and 4
  • BJP confirmed its arrival in the court against Banerjee’s order

West Bengal, August 24, 2017: Mamta Banerjee, the Chief Minister of West Bengal clarified that immersion of Durga idols, after the four-day festival of Durga Puja, can take place barring a period of 24 hours.

Banerjee had issued an order earlier during the day against it as this year, Durga Puja and Muharram, the day of mourning for Muslims, are falling on the same day. Her announcement led to malign reactions on social media immediately which accused her of trying to appease the minority community.

“No idol immersion after 6 pm on Dashami (Sept 30) till October 1 due to Muharram processions, immersion will resume from October 2,” Banerjee stated officially.

Mamta Banerjee
Mamta Banerjee, the Chief Minister of West Bengal clarified that immersion of Durga idols can take place barring a period of 24 hours

In the words of Mamta Banerjee, “Some people will try to create trouble on Hindu-Muslim grounds. Every religion is ours. But if there is a problem while a procession is passing a puja pandal, we will all be affected.”

ALSO READDurga Puja, Muharram peaceful, do not pay heed to rumours: Bengal Police

Muharram falls on October 1 this year. Banerjee stated that the immersions can be carried on October 2,3 and 4. The Chief Minister’s order has chances of upsetting the Hindus even though a similar order had been issued by her in 2016. However, last year’s order was stayed by the High Court of Kolkata.

In the meantime, BJP stated its arrival in the court against Banerjee’s order.

– prepared by Harsimran Kaur of NewsGram. Twitter @Hkaur1025