We are with people & work for development of Bengal round the year: Mamata
KOLKATA: In an apparent dig at the BJP, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday, without naming anyone, said that some visit the state prior to elections and leave making tall promises, but she stays by the side of people throughout the year. She also expressed her gratitude towards the people for adhering to all norms while observing Chhath Puja amidst Covid.
Th e Chief Minister said that devotees will not face any difficulty in off ering the Puja in small groups even in this pandemic situation as the state government as dug 2.5 lakh ponds across Bengal under 'Jal Dharo Jal Bharo' project. Like all yesteryears, Banerjee on Friday attended Chhath Puja at some of the ghats long river Hooghly in the city's Port area.
In the same breath, Banerjee without naming BJP said that there are some who come only ahead of the elections to give tall talks. "But we remain with people round the year andwork for the development of the state," Banerjee said aft er praying that all evils including attempts of creating violence by a quarter should come to an end.
"I have been visiting this place every year on the day of Chhath Puja for more than the past 30 years. I started coming here before I got elected as an MP from Jadavpur in 1984. Some come only during elections and talk big. But we attend all festivals around the year," Banerjee further stated that the state government has set up 1,500 makeshift water bodies in and around Kolkata specially for Chhath Puja so that devotees do not have to travel long distances amidst the Covid situation to off er Puja.
"You all are well aware of the present Covid situation. Th ere are Court orders as well. It had not become possible to observe Durga Puja, Kali Puja, Diwali and other festivals as it used to take place in yesteryears due to the pandemic. We have not stopped anyone from observing any festival. But I would like to thank people that they have followed orders of Courts and government and also listened to the requests of the police to ensure their own safety at this critical time of Covid. I am grateful to them for the same," Banerjee said urging people to use masks and maintain physical distance.
Th e Chief Minister added that many states have asked people to observe Chhath rit- uals at home. "But we have allowed people to go to water bodies in small groups avoiding long processions," she said adding, "In Bengal we give a two- day holiday for Chhath Puja and this shows that we giverespect to all." Banerjee said Bengal is a state of amity where different religions and communities live together and called for "defeating those who try to instigate riots and discord... Th is country is for justice and humanity."
Earlier in the day she had tweeted both in English and Hindi: "Heartiest greetings to the people of Bengal, India and all over the world on the auspicious occasion of Chhath Puja.
May Lord Surya fulfi l all your wishes."