Asserting that the recently-concluded Durga Puja was “peaceful”, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday said that the state witnessed business of over Rs 85,000 crore and employment generation for around 3 lakh people during the festivities.
Referring to a survey by the British Council which stated that West Bengal recorded a business of Rs 72,000 crore during this year’s Durga Puja, a seemingly happy Mamata Banerjee said she hoped that the business will grow in the coming years.
“Durga Puja has reached a new height this year. In the coming years, we will organise it in a bigger way. A British Council research stated that this year, there was business of around Rs 72,000 crore but I believe that it will be around Rs 80,000 crore to Rs 85,000 crore. Over 3 lakh job opportunities were created, which is a big gain for the poor,” Banerjee told reporters at the state secretariat.
“Last time, some people moved the court because I had given some funds to clubs. I give money to the clubs because they do social work. If I can earn Rs 72,000 crore by spending Rs 300 crore then it should be an economic model. All the money may not come to us, but it’s good that so many people have earned it,” she said.
The Mamata Banerjee government provided financial aid of Rs 70,000 to each of the 40,000 clubs that organised Durga Puja this year.
Mamata Banerjee also lauded the people of the state, administration and the police for “peaceful” Durga Puja celebrations.
“Durga Puja was held peacefully and the credit goes to the clubs, housing societies, media, administration, police and civic society. People from all religions participated in the celebration and not a single incident was reported from anywhere in the state,” she said.
Mamata Banerjee, who was on “restricted movement” for swelling in her left knee after returning from a 12-day trip to Spain and the UAE, said, “My infection had turned septic due to wrong treatment. I could not move out of my bed for seven days.” The Chief Minister said that despite her injuries, she had attended office from home.
“Despite all these hurdles, I had gone through the papers that reached me from my office every day. I held meetings with various officials,” she said.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)