Vote bank politics taking away right to celebrate festivals: Shah

Kolkata: Union Home Minister Amit Shah addresses during a public-awakening programme on NRC in Kolkata, on Oct 1, 2019.

Kolkata,  Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday regretted that the politics of vote bank is taking away the constitutional right to celebrate different festivals and religions and treat them on equal footing in a number of states.

“In our country, all festivals and religions are treated on an equal footing as per the Indian Constitution. But the constitutional right to celebrate festivals are often snatched because of vote bank politics,” Shah said while inaugurating a Durga puja marquee in the posh satellite township of Salt Lake.

Exhorting people to bring about a change of government in the 2021 West Bengal Assembly polls, Shah said people can then enjoy all festivals in a hassle-free manner.

“I have come here to be a part of the festivities alongside the people of Bengal. But what was the situation some time back? One had to approach the high court for immersion of idols after Durga puja celebrations.

“Today, the people of Bengal have given 18 seats to the BJP in the Lok Sabha polls. Now nobody has to go to the court. You can comfortably celebrate Durga puja.

“Bring about ‘parivartan’ (change) in Bengal in the next Assembly elections. Then you will be able to celebrate all festivals — Saraswati Puja, Ram Navami and Janmashtami — without any hassles,” he said.

Shah, who was welcomed to the marquee with a bouquet and draping of a scarf around his neck, prayed for some time before the idol of goddess Durga and offered flowers at her feet.

Conveying his wishes to the people of the state, Shah said Durga puja is an inseparable part of the culture of not only West Bengal, but the entire east India.

“‘Shakti’ worship is done in all parts of the country in some form or the other. We pray to the goddess for peace, prosperity and faith through out the year. Scriptures have rated ‘Shakti’ worship as the highest form of worship,” he said.

A host of state BJP leaders, including Bengal BJP President Dilip Ghosh, party general secretary and state in-charge Kailash Vijayvargiya, national secretary Rahul Sinha and state polls campaign committee head Mukul Roy were present at the programme.