Kolkata, Oct 1 (SocialNews.XYZ) The hints were clear when despite two invitations, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee refused to come for the inauguration of Kolkata's iconic Durga Puja organised by the Naktala Udayan Sangha whose principal mentor and patron was Partha Chatterjee, the former state education minister and the prime accused in the teacher recruitment scam.
Now as the state information and cultural affairs department released the names of 35 best community pujas under the banner of 'Biswa Bangla Sharad Sanman 2022' on Saturday evening, Naktala Uadyan Sangha featured nowhere in the list.
Ever since the Trinamool Congress-led state government initiated the 'Biswa Bangla Sharad Sanman', Naktala Udayan Sangha always featured in the top three.
"Suddenly it seems that our puja has become untouchable. We might officially say that the absence of Partha Chatterjee (who's presently in jail) does not make any difference for the puja. But in reality, his absence matters. After all, he was the second person after Mamata Banerjee, both in the state cabinet and in the party," said a person associated with the puja committee on condition of anonymity.
This year, Chetla Agrani topped the list. The puja committee has Kolkata Mayor Firhad Hakim as its main mentor. Incidentally, after Partha Chatterjee's exit from the scene, Hakim is considered as the second person in the party after the Chief Minister.
Soon after his arrest by the ED in July this year, Chatterjee was stripped of all his ministerial portfolios. Next, his party portfolios were taken away. In fact, the post of secretary general in the party was also abolished at the same time.
Now, it is time for the puja committee which was in the limelight till last year with Chatterjee as its principal patron to face the wrath of the state machinery.