Continuing on her quest to woo the Hindu voters before assembly elections next year, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on this past Thursday announced a grant of Rs 50,000 to each Durga Puja committee in the state.
The Chief Minister however did not stop there, but went on to announce even more doles. Banerjee said that the fire brigade, Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC), other civic bodies, municipalities and panchayats will not charge any money or tax for their services from the puja organisers.
“Due to the Covid pandemic, it has been a tough time for all of us. We have decided to provide Rs 50,000 grant to each Durga Puja committee of the state. We have also decided that CESC and the state electricity board will give 50 per cent waiver for the puja committees,” she said addressing the Durga Puja Coordination meeting here.
Mamata Banerjee asked the committees to prepare open-air marquees in view of the contagion and ensure that pandal hoppers wear masks.
Earlier, Banerjee had announced a monthly honorary of 1,000 rupees for around 8,000 brahmin priests in the state. She also said that the priests would be alloted residences at cheap prices under State’s housing scheme. All this have led experts to believe that Banerjee led TMC is desperate to woo the Hindu voters and prevent them from going the BJP way before assembly elections next year.