Govt should not give donations to Durga Puja committees: Assam CM

Without naming his West Bengal counterpart Mamata Banerjee, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Sunday said no government should grant any donation to Durga Puja committees as it is a religious function.

Assam is celebrating Durga Puja with huge enthusiasm. Sarma has been visiting Puja pandals in different parts of the state since Saturday.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the Durga Puja celebration in Karimganj, Sarma said spending government money on organising Durga Puja will attract religious division in the country.

“If we give any grant in Durga Puja, followers of other communities will demand the same during their religious functions. So, I believe that this practice should not be encouraged,” he added.

Asked about the Assam government paying Rs 1.5 lakh to Bihu organising committees during the Rongali Bihu celebration this year, Sarma replied: “Bihu is a cultural function of Assam and it has no religious connection.”

Notably, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced in August of granting a whopping Rs 258 crore to clubs in the state for the upcoming Durga Puja, which has attracted wide-scale criticism.

For the past four years, Banerjee has given grants to Puja committees which have increased every year starting with a donation of Rs 10,000 to 28,000 committees in 2018.

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