Home / News / BJP condemns Gandhi look-alike asura incident in Durga Puja Pandal, TMC hits out

The Bharatiya Janata Party on 4 October hit out at TMC and condemned the installation of a Mahatma Gandhi look-alike Mahisasura at a Durga Puja pandal in Kolkata.

It further claimed that several other pujas have hurt public sentiments in the past in TMC-ruled West Bengal.

The party's state spokesperson Samik Bhattacharya said that past instances of putting a TMC flag in the hands of the Goddess at Gurap in Hooghly district, playing 'azaan' at a Durga Puja pandal in Kolkata and adorning the path leading to another marquee with shoes had neither been condemned by the TMC and nor had the administration taken any action.

Earlier, 'Azaan' or the Muslim call to prayer was played in a pandal at Beleghata in Kolkata in 2019 and even shoes adorned the path to the idol at another marquee in Kestopur area last year.

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Though Beleghata puja organisers said 'Azaan' and also the 'Om' chant were played as the pandal was themed on communal harmony, while those of Kestopur said the shoes signified the farmers' movement in the country and the footwear were installed at a distance from the marquee.

""We strongly condemn any move to insult Gandhiji. But while the administration commendably took note of the incident and promptly responded, it did not take any action after the Hooghly incident showing Maa Durga with a TMC flag or after the use of footwear to decorate a puja pandal," the BJP leader said.

"Actually some organisers are emboldened to commit such acts (of depicting Mahisasura as a Gandhi look-alike) as they know the spirit of devotion associated with puja is being violated in TMC-ruled West Bengal, where the chief minister inaugurates pujas even before Mahalaya and chants wrong shlokas on the dais," he said.

No doubt, it is a festival of harmony but the spiritual aspect had been blatantly violated by the ruling party in West Bengal, he said.

TMC state spokesperson Kunal Ghosh, while responding to the allegations, accused the saffron party of "always wanting to create disturbances".

"Durga Puja is a social festival...a festival of humanity and amity in West Bengal where the religious aspects are scrupulously maintained. The BJP does not believe in togetherness and wants to create a rift. That is why it has been rejected by people of the state," Ghosh said.

"Portraying the father of the nation as a demon was a sacrilegious act and the police took prompt action. But had the puja been stopped, the BJP would have gone to town and falsely blamed the administration of being anti-puja," he added.

A Mahisasura idol bore resemblances to Mahatma Gandhi was dressed in a white dhoti and wore round glasses, creating controversy on the father of the nation's birth anniversary on October 2.

With controversy gaining momentum, the idol's appearance was later changed by putting hair on the head and a moustache following instructions from the police after a complaint was lodged.

The organisers, ABHM, claimed the similarities were "just a coincidence".

With PTI inputs.

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