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UP allows holding Durga Puja amid pandemic

Kolkata: The Bengalis in Uttar Pradesh can breathe a sigh of relief as the state government allowed holding of Durga Puja with strict COVID-19 guidelines on Thursday.

Trinamool Congress had criticized the UP government for taking such an arbitrary decision. Even BJP MP Swapan Dasgupta had criticized the UP government and urged it to reconsider the decision.

The UP government has allowed Durga Puja in parks and squares also. It was learnt that even the state BJP leaders had urged the central leadership to request the UP government to reconsider the decision as it could affect the party's poll prospect in 2021 Assembly election.

The puja committees in Lucknow have decided to organize the puja with smaller size idols. Swami Muktinathanandaji, of RKM, Lucknow said the Puja will be held following COVID-19 restrictions.

There are community Pujas which are held in Varanashi, Prayagraj and Lucknow that are more than 100 years old. The puja which is held at Varanasi Advaita Ashram is more than 100 years old. Like Kolkata, pandal hopping is a major part in Varanasi. Durga Puja is also held at the Bharat Sevasram Sangha in Varanasi.

Arun Banerjee, president of Bengali Club in Lucknow which has been organizing community Durga Puja for more than a century welcomed the decision and said it would go for smaller size idol.

Mihir Banerjee, president of Rabindra Palli Puja Committee in Lucknow said the puja will be held with a smaller idol. There will be no prasad for the people and the pushpanjali will be held in small batches. The community Durga Puja is being organized for the past 37 years.

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