Inaugurating a Durga puja for the first time in West Bengal, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday accused the state's Trinamool Congress government of stifling the rights of the people to celebrate Durga Puja to serve the party's vote bank.
Mr Shah, also the BJP president, inaugurated the BJ Block community Durga Puja at Salt Lake in the eastern fringes of the city amid tight security.
"People had to go to the high court to seek permission for immersion of the idol of Durga. The constitutional right of the people to celebrate festivals was not guaranteed in West Bengal due to vote bank politics," Mr Shah said while addressing the inauguration ceremony.
Mr Shah was referring to the restrictions imposed by the state government on Durga idol immersion on the day of Vijayadashami after 10 pm in 2017. It had also said no immersion would be allowed on the day Muharram. However, the Calcutta High Court allowed immersion of idols on all days from Vijayadashami including on Muharram.
"If the people of Bengal elect us in the next assembly elections, they will be able to celebrate Durga Puja, Saraswati Puja, Ram Navami with equal gusto. We will ensure the constitutional right is protected," Mr Shah said.
A group of people chanted slogans such as "Jai Shri Ram" and "Bharat Mata Ki Jai" as the BJP president concluded his speech and went to have a darshan of the Durga idol.
Security personnel faced a trying time to control the people who were eager to get close to the Union minister at that time.
BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya also attended the programme.