Kolkata: There were long queues of people at West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee`s house here on Thursday as she gave away Kali puja `prasad`, greeting VIPs and commoners alike.
Banerjee has been organising the puja at her Kalighat residence in south Kolkata since 1978 when she was a student leader. This year, the event was special as she presides over West Bengal.
The doors of her spartan residence on Harish Chatterjee Street were thrown open to the public. Thanks to her instructions, the security was never obtrusive.
Thousands of her supporters and commoners visited the single storey house throughout the day Wednesday to watch the puja on the courtyard and for a glimpse of the popular politician widely known as "Didi".
"This is the 34th year of Kali worship in our house. It was her (Mamata Banerjee`s) idea. The rituals are conducted by strictly following the scriptures," said a member of the household.
Looking cheerful, the chief minister - clad in her trademark cotton saree and rubber slippers - made arrangements for Kali puja and oversaw cooking of bhog (food offering for the goddess).
Assembly speaker Biman Banerjee, his deputy Sonali Guha, ministers, MPs and legislators along with police and administrative officials were among those who crowded the residence.
The Chief Minister fasted through the day and broke it only after offering "pushpanjali" (special offering to goddess) Wednesday night.
On Thursday, Banerjee herself distributed prasad to all those who came to her residence.
Kali puja in Bengal coincides with Diwali celebrations.