'Mega rally a month before Durga Puja to celebrate UNESCO feat'

Mega rally a month before Durga Puja to celebrate UNESCO feat

KOLKATA: A month before Durga Puja, a huge procession will be held in the city, involving women from all communities, to celebrate UNESCO's heritage tag to the annual festival of Bengal, announced Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday. "A mega rally will be organised a month before Durga Puja. The beneficiaries of Lakshmir Bhandar will take part in the rally. They will blow the conch. Women from all communities will offer their prayers to the goddess," Banerjee said at Netaji Indoor Stadium, where the organisational poll of Trinamool Congress (TMC) was held.

In this regard, the Chief Minister gave directions to hold a meeting with the organisers of Durga Puja. West Bengal had bagged a new crown of glory for itself, with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) adding the state's largest annual festival, the Durga Puja, to its 'Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.' The decision to inscribe 'Durga Puja in Kolkata' in the list was taken on the second day of the 16th session of the inter-governmental committee, which was held in Paris from December 13 to 18 last year.

The inscription on the UNESCO'S website reads: "Durga Puja is seen as the best instance of the public performance of religion and art, and as a thriving ground for collaborative artists and designers. The festival is characterized by large-scale installations and pavilions in urban areas, as well as by traditional Bengali drumming and veneration of the goddess. During the event, the divides of class, religion and ethnicities collapse as crowds of spectators walk around to admire the installations."

Meanwhile, Banerjee was elected as the chairperson of TMC unanimously. She urged the leaders not to indulge in any group politics and strengthen the party base in Bengal. "There are no groups or subgroups and those indulging this will be dealt with seriously. We should not do anything, which BJP can use to their advantage. Remember in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls we will have to win in all the 42 seats," she said. Banerjee said six to seven BJP MLAs had expressed their willingness to join Trinamool Congress as they want to be part of the all round development in Bengal. "We do not want to bring MLAs from other parties to strengthen us, but those who want to work for development are welcome," she added. Meanwhile, two former councilors from Kanthi quit BJP and joined Trinamool Congress on Wednesday.

Banerjee also said that TMC would urge all the regional parties to get united to oust BJP in the 2024 Lok Sabha election. Banerjee said time had come to protest against "the highhandedness and muscle flexing of BJP."

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