Mamata Banerjee To Virtually Inaugurate Durga Pujas This Year
Devotees immersing the idol of Goddess Durga in a makeshift pond of Ulsoor Lake. (Source: PTI)

Mamata Banerjee To Virtually Inaugurate Durga Pujas This Year

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West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday said she would be virtually inaugurating Durga pujas this year from the state secretariat.

She set aside Oct. 15, 16 and 17 for unveiling different marquees in the city.

"I will inaugurate Durga Pujas virtually from Nabanna (state secretariat). Pandals in the northern part of the city will be unveiled on Oct. 15, those in the Behala and Jadavpur areas the next day and the ones in south Kolkata the day after," the chief minister said.

She asked puja committees, willing to invite her for inauguration, to write a mail to her office, and said arrangements would be made accordingly.

The CM further said she would be unveiling the pandals around 5 p.m. on the three days.

Later in the day, she visited a popular pandal in the city, patronised by her cabinet colleague Firhad Hakim, and drew the eyes of goddess Durga on her idol, as part of a religious ritual.

Banerjee, on the occasion, urged the puja organisers at Chetla Agrani club to strictly abide by Covid-19 protocols.

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'Chokkhudan', or the ritual inviting the goddess to Earth by drawing eyes on her idol, is usually performed by the craftsman on the day of Mahalaya, which heralds 'Devi Paksha' or the beginning of Durga puja. This year, however, Mahalaya was observed a month ahead of the festival.

Banerjee had been performing the ritual for Chetla Agrani club since 2014.

Hakim, who holds the urban development and municipal affairs portfolio, was present at the ceremony, along with other members of the puja committee.

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