Kolkata: Bypoll norms add to Covid-wary Durga Puja organizers’ in Bhawanipore worries – Times of India

Kolkata News
KOLKATA: Durga Puja organizers in Bhawanipore are busy formulating a back-up plan so that during the run-up to the bypolls for the assembly constituency in which CM Mamata Banerjee herself is a candidate, they can shift some of the work on the pandal interiors to their workshops and try finishing the arrangements before Mahalaya.
The areas like Chakraberia, Chakraberia North, Chetla, parts of Elgin Road, Hazra, Chetla, Harish Mukherjee Road, Beltala, Bakulbagan, Bhowanipore, Diamond Harbour Road, Kidderpore, Mominpore and Lansdowne have the highest density of Durga Pujas in the city.

There are close to 175 polling stations throughout the assembly constituency and most of them have a Durga Puja within half a kilometre, said a senior Trinamool leader in the area. The last two weeks of September will be the peak time to complete the preparations for the puja as pandals are now thrown open to visitors on Mahalaya.
The pandal of 62 Pally Durga Puja on Harish Mukherjee Road is less than 200m from Mitra Institution, where the CM herself casts her vote. “Though we have not received any instructions from the authorities yet, we are ready to alter our schedule because the election is important.
Many development works in the area are stalled because the byelection has not happened. If need be, we will try to work at nights and finish the work before the last week of September so that byelections happen smoothly. Finishing touches will be given as soon as the election gets over,”said Nemai Saha, secretary of 62 Pally puja.
Banerjee, a two-time MLA from Bhowanipore, did not contest from the seat in the 2021 assembly elections. Instead, her colleague Sovandeb Chattopadhyay contested against BJP’s Rudranil Ghosh and won by over 30,000 votes. BJP had used much of its resources in its attempt to win the seat in Mamata’s backyard. Union home minister Amit Shah had himself campaigned here. Chattopadhyay then vacated the seat for Banerjee to contest.
In 2016, Banerjee had defeated her nearest rival — Left-Congress combine’s Deepa Das Munshi — by over 25, 000 votes. But in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Trinamool’s Mala Roy was ahead of the BJP’s Chandra Kumar Bose by only 3,168 votes in Bhowanipore.
“We have already decided to shift the work for interiors to our workshop. Since our puja is close to a polling centre, we will stop the work for a few days to facilitate arrangements for the elections,” said Subhankar Roy Chowdhury, general secretary of Bhowanipore Durgotsab Samiti in Paddapukur.
Harish Mukherjee Durgotsab Samiti puja also happens at a stone’s throw from Mitra Institution. “Due to the pandemic, the scale of the puja has been reduced to some extent. But we have sped up the work so that maximum arrangements can be done much before September 30. Whatever is left will be done after the byelection,” said Ranadeep Mukherjee, a member of the puja committee.

Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kolkata/bypoll-norms-add-to-cov-wary-durga-puja-organizers-worries/articleshow/86048663.cms