Kolkata: Controversial Trinamool Congress leader Anubrata Mondal on Monday announced he was using over 6 kg of gold ornaments this year to decorate the idol of the goddess Kali at his own puja – which he is organising since the party came to power in 2011.
“This year there will be ornaments weighing 520 Bhori (more than 6 kg). Last year it was 350 bhori (more than 4 kg) of ornaments,” he told media persons here.
Asked where this jewellery comes from, Mondal said: “People give to the goddess with love and I am the custodian of the jewellery.”
Mondal, the Trinamool’s Birbhum district party chief, came to the limelight in 2018 when he used over 2 kg gold to decorate the deity.
In 2019, he used over 3 kg and in 2020, over 4 kg gold to decorate the idol. However, last two years he refrained from participating in idol decoration during Kali Puja due to the pandemic and deaths in his family.
This year, according to sources close to Mondal, the Trinamool leader decorated the idol himself with jewellery worth more than Rs 2.5 crore.
“Last two years I could not decorate the idol myself due to a death in my family. I was sad but this year I shall do it myself as I prayed to her for 230 seats (for the party) and she gave it to me,” Mondal said.
Meanwhile, the Opposition criticsed of the huge amount of jewellery used in idol decoration.
BJP leader Anupam Hazra, who is also from Birbhum, said: “There are so many Kali temples in Birbhum. Even if I were to believe that people willingly give the ornaments, then why do they not visit other Kali temples? It is clear that they do it under pressure.” Mondal, however, declined to respond to this.