"Trinamool Afraid That...": BJP Slams Mamata Banerjee Over Durga Puja Tax

Mamata Banerjee on Sunday had criticised the centre for issuing income tax notices to several Durga Puja committees in Kolkata, saying festivals should be exempt from levies.

'Trinamool Afraid That...': BJP Slams Mamata Banerjee Over Durga Puja Tax
Kolkata:

Questioning West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's criticism of IT notices served to Durga Puja committees, the BJP on Monday accused a section of Trinamool Congress leaders of laundering the money, allegedly looted in chit fund scams, through the puja committees.

Ms Banerjee on Sunday had criticised the centre for issuing income tax notices to several Durga Puja committees in Kolkata, saying festivals should be exempt from levies.

She had said the Trinamool Congress (TMC) would sit on a dharna in the city on Tuesday in protest against the move of the BJP-led government at the centre.

"What is the harm if IT looks into the money flow in Durga Puja committees. In some puja committees, senior TMC leaders and ministers occupy important positions and use it to launder their black money looted through cut money and chit fund scams. The TMC is afraid that this link might be revealed," BJP national secretary Rahul Sinha said.

Mocking Ms Banerjee's "crocodile tears" for Durga Puja committees, Mr Sinha said, if she is so concerned about these committees, then why did the TMC government on several occasions try to stop Durga Puja rituals, in order to allow Muharram in the state.

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"She should be the last person to talk about Durga Puja. If she is so bothered about the festival, then why did she stop idol immersions for consecutive years in order to allow Muharram processions in the state," he said.

Mr Sinha alleged that Ms Banerjee is "more interested" in appeasing Muslims rather than heeding the sentiments of Hindus.

Ms Banerjee had tweeted on Sunday, "The Income Tax Dept has issued notices to many committees who organize Durga pujos, asking them to pay taxes. We are proud of all our national festivals. These festivals are for all and we do not want any pujo festival to be taxed. This will be a burden on the organizers.