This Durga Puja, Kolkata will have an ‘especial’ guest, as the Congress Chief Rahul Gandhi is reported to visit one of the puja pandal of Kolkata during that period.
Seems, it could be Rahul’s new strategy for wooing the votes for the upcoming Lok Sabha election.
After his Kailash yatra in the mid-week of September, Rahul is now all set to woe voters by paying a visit to goddess Durga, and starts the journey from Didi’s bastion where the Congress has dwindling presence.
This year Durga Puja in West Bengal will begin on 16th October and 17th is scheduled for ‘Mahaashtami’. Gandhi is reported to step down in Kolkata on 17th and will do what all Bengalis do on that day, offering ‘Anjali’ or floral tributes to the Goddess Durga, as the Anjali on Ashtami or the second day of puja is considered as the main day of Durgotsav and this practice is believed to be the most auspicious.
While the congress party of Bengal is yet to announce the visit, the new Bengal Chief of Cong., Somen Mitra has confirmed the news. At first, Mitra named the Santosh Mitra Square puja pandal, where Rahul was reported to offer his prayer to the Goddess Durga. But, then it seems the venue has overtaken to another famous puja pandal named College Square Durga Puja.
A source close to the party said that Rahul has never been in Kolkata during Durga Puja, as this will be his first durgotsav visit in Bengal. While the party’s leaders in Kolkata terms it as a gesture, many others are seeing it along with his series of temple visits including his recent pilgrim venture to Kailash-Mansarovar.
Gandhi’s ‘detractors’ BJP party has constantly criticized him, accusing him of attempting ‘soft-Hindutva’ with his temple run in poll-bound states.
Earlier, in other states such as Karnataka, Rajasthan and in Madhya Pradesh, Gandhi has visited many Hindu shrines. In fact, before the December Gujarat polls, he had visited the local Shiva temples.
In Bengal, as per the present scenario, where the central ruling party BJP is seen making its way in ‘Didistaan’ and emerging as the main opposition party even though the Congress has more lawmakers, a big fight is on for the number two position!
Even the Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Bannerjee’s Trinamool Congress party is constantly flaunting its Hindutva credentials, especially since ‘Didi’ has been accused in the past for minority propitiation.
Even on Sunday, a day after Didi’s return from 10-long-days foreign tour, the Trinamool Cong MP Derek O’Brien took to his twitter and tweeted in Bengali and English with a clip of Mamata Bannerjee reciting mantras chanted during Durga Puja and captioned it “Here is a Short video which will put you in the mood for Durga puja.
— Derek O'Brien | ডেরেক ও’ব্রায়েন (@derekobrienmp) September 30, 2018
It seems political leaders are using the religious key as their gaining weapons for upcoming Lok Sabha election.
It is also worth to mention that there are few political shades which will be read during the Gandhi-visit in ‘Didistaan’. A lot of buzz is going around that with whom he will eventually join hands in Bengal and nationally, to take on the BJP in 2019 Lok Sabha poll.
While, Trinamool and CPM, both of are in his options, the only difference is that CPM doesn’t have a rival Prime Minister candidate, but the Trinamool Congress party does and that is obviously ‘Mamata Bannerjee’!
According to several reports, there is also a speculation among the Congress party of Kolkata that the Congress-scion has a strategic plan to enter into a pre-poll alliance with the Trinamool Congress for the 2019 general elections.