west Bengal Chief minister Mamata Banerjee has called an emergency meeting at Nabanna on Friday following the Calcutta high court order.
All senior officers – chief secretary Moloy De, home secretary Atri Bhattacharya, director general of police Surajit Purkayastha, Kolkata Police commissioner Rajeev Kumar – and superintendents of police and ministers will attend the meeting to take stock of the new situation arising out of the court order.
Banerjee, who inaugurated several Durga Pujas on Friday, did not say a word on the court order but said people would have the ultimate say in choosing when they would go for immersion of idols. “People are the ultimate in a democracy. Their judgement is the best,” the chief minister said.
Peeved with those who moved court after her government banned immersion on Muharram day on October 1, the CM said: “I would like to ask Subratada (Subrata Muk herjee) whether it is a custom to immerse idols on a Saturday (this year Bijaya Dashami is on Saturday , September 30) or on Ekadashi (this time Ekadashi comes on the day of Muharram).”
The question to senior state cabinet minister Mukherjee came while she was inaugurating the Durga Puja pandal at Ekdalia Evergreen, whose chief patron was Mukherjee. As Mukherjee nodded in support, the CM said: “So where is the problem then? Some people are trying to demean the festival. They are trying to disrupt peace.” The chief minister’s tacit reference was to those who filed PILs against her government’s decision to disallow immersions on Muharram day, which would also be Ekadashi according to the Hindu almanac this year.
Mamata Banerjee did not restrict herself to these arguments. She also sought to take care of sentiments by doing an impromptu Chandi Path, the purported message being that she was no less a Hindu than the saffron camp that was trying to occupy Bengali mind space with the “minority appeasement” slogan.
The chief minister seemed hurt with the efforts to extract political mileage from the court order.