Mamata govt increases Durga Puja grant to Rs 25,000

Kolkata, Aug 30 (IANS) West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday announced a grant of Rs 25,000 to all the community Durga Pujas in the state, increasing it from Rs 10,000 last year.

She also said the Puja organisers will get 25 percent concession on their electricity bills from the Calcutta Electric Supply Corporation (CESC) as well the state electricity board.

"We have decided to increase the grant to the clubs organising Durga Puja from Rs 10,000 last year to Rs 25,000 this year," Banerjee said at the administrative and coordination meeting with the Puja committees at the Netaji Indoor Stadium here.

She said the state Police Department will provide an additional aid of Rs 5,000 to the community Pujas organised by women.

Hailing Bengal's age-old tradition of communal harmony, Banerjee said no one will be allowed to politicise Durga Puja here.

"Bengal is the only state where Durga Puja and Muharram can be observed simultaneously. No other states can do this. This is Bengal's age-old tradition and all of us have to work to hold on to it," the Trinamool Congress supremo said.

"We won't let anyone politicise the Pujas in Bengal," she said taking a veiled dig at the BJP.

Banerjee also asked the prominent Puja organisers in the city to shun VIP entrance at the Puja pandals.

"Do not make VIP gates for the Pujas. People should stand in queue to see the Pujas," she added.

--IANS

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