Mamata calls for celebration of 'spirit of unity' on Makar Sankranti
Kolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday greeted the people of Bengal on the occasion of Makar Sankranti and said that Gangasagar Mela witnesses the second largest congregation of devotees in India.
Taking to Twitter, Banerjee said earlier in the day: "Greetings on #MakarSankranti. Lakhs of pilgrims will take holy dip today at the 2nd largest congregation of mankind,
Gangasagar Mela. While Kumbh is accessible through road & rail, Gangasagar is unique; it can only be reached via waterway."
Following the Chief Minister's instruction, various state government departments have ensured that the pilgrims coming to take holy dip at Gangasagar from different parts of the country do not face any inconveniences. The state Transport department has run extra buses in different routes in the past few days to ferry the pilgrims from various points.
Banerjee added in another tweet: "Heartiest greetings to all on the occasion of #Pongal, #Tushu and #MaghBihu festivals. The strength of India lies in the diversity of our culture. Let us celebrate this spirit of unity."
The Chief Minister's message that the strength of the country lies in the diversity of culture carries significance, especially at a time when there has been a strong protest against the CAA and NRC in the state, with ruling Trinamool Congress going hammer and tongs with the Centre on the issue.
Trinamool Congress has already termed the move as 'draconian' and demanded a withdrawal of the CAA and NRC.
They have alleged that the BJP-led government at the Centre has been discriminating the people of the country on the basis of their religion, which is totally unconstitutional.
It may be mentioned that nearly 50 lakh pilgrims have flocked to Sagar Island on Makar Sankranti this year. According to sources, the number is almost double compared to last year.
Meanwhile, 63-year-old Uma Shankar Tewary, a resident of Kushinagar in Uttar Pradesh who visited Gangasagar to take a holy dip, was airlifted and taken to Howrah District Hospital after he complained of acute coronary syndrome on Wednesday.
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