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Banned Durga Puja & took UNESCO credit: Union minister slams Mamata

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Mamata Banerjee takes oath as Chief Minister of West Bengal on Wednesday at the "Throne Room" at the Raj Bhavan in Kolkat/Image from ANI


New Delhi: Aiming a slap at West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Union minister Meenakshi Lekhi said that it was dreadful that the state government, which banned Durga Puja and idol immersion, took the credit for the festival being added to UNESCO's list of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity, PTI reported.

Speaking at a press conference, the Minister of State for Culture said that her ministry had sent the proposal to include Durga Puja in UNESCO's list in 2019, and the same got accepted in December 2021. According to her, the ministry has sent a proposal to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) to include the Garba dance of Gujarat also in the mentioned list.

The Bengal CM had led a rally celebrating the inclusion of 'Durga Puja in Kolkata' in UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity list earlier this month.

She further said that the inclusion of Durga Puja in UNESCO's list of intangible cultural heritage was a matter of pride for the whole country, but "politics on it was improper".

"It is horrendous a state government that banned Durga Puja, and idol immersion was taking credit for this feat," she said.

She stated that all the traditions of the country needed equal appreciation. Durga Puja has much importance in south, west and eastern parts of India, she added.

Minister Meenakshi Lekhi is to visit Kolkata on October 24 to felicitate 30 artisans and artistes, including 'dhakis', idol makers, pandal makers and others associated with the Durga Puja festival.

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TAGS:West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee Union minister Meenakshi Lekhi UNESCO 
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