Durga Puja 2018: West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee Inaugurates Festivities, Says Countdown Has Started
Mamata Banerjee begins Durga Puja festivities in West Bengal (Image credit: Twitter/MamataOfficial)

Kolkata, October 6: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has set the festive mode on in the state as she inaugurated the festivities in the countdown to the Durga Puja 2018 on Friday. Banerjee tweeted images from the inauguration of the festivities and greeted the people of the state as Navaratri 2018 begins on October 10 and Durga Puja on October 15. Durga Puja 2018: Calcutta HC Stays Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal Government's Order To Pays Rs 10,000 Each to Pujo Committees.

"The countdown to Durga Puja, our biggest festival, has started. I was present in the inauguration of festivities today amidst great enthusiasm, ringing in our much-awaited moments. My best wishes to all. Some pictures of today’s occasion are uploaded here for all of you," Banerjee tweeted. Durga Puja 2018: Idols of Goddess Durga for Navaratri Are Made With Soil From Sonagachi Brothels, Here's Why!

Meanwhile, Banerjee on Friday questioned how the funds already distributed to Durga Puja committees would be taken back, after the Calcutta High Court asked her government to put on hold the allocation of money till Tuesday. “We have full respect for the court. But we have already given the money (to Puja committees). How will we take the money back,” she said.

On September 10, Banerjee declared that Rs 10,000 would be given to each of the 28,000 Puja committees across West Bengal — 3,000 in Kolkata and 25,000 in other parts, costing the state government an amount of Rs 28 crore.

In an interim order, the high court earlier Friday asked the state government if there is any guideline, since a huge amount is involved, and stayed the distribution of funds till Tuesday.

Banerjee, while addressing a press conference after her party’s Core Committee meet, feared that “evil forces” might try to instigate riots during the Puja. “I would appeal to everyone to maintain peace and harmony during the Puja. Don’t step into any sort of provocation. Instigating riots is a culture of BJP,” she said.