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Covid casts shadow over Ayudha Puja at Soudha

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Dasara, called the Nada Habba or the festival of the land, is one of the biggest celebrations in the state and has been observed over the years at Vidhana Soudha. Of 10 days of festivities, Ayudha Puja is the biggest of them all. This year, it has fallen on October 25, which is a Sunday. But not to miss the tradition, the Soudha staff are celebrating it on Friday as Saturday, Sunday and Monday are holidays.

The celebration this year, however, will have Covid restrictions in place and will be muted as compared to earlier years. Colour rangolis, breaking of ash gourd in front of office chambers and vehicles, etc have been banned.

Also, many ministers and bureaucrats are giving the celebrations a miss. Speaker Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri is himself away and will not be part of the annual festival.Most of the staff members have invited priests to perform pujas to all the office equipment that include telephones and computers too.

This is the time when ministers shower their staff with gifts, sweet boxes and clothes. But this year, however, all that will be gone. Some staff members said that even small additional amounts needed to conduct pujas, sourcing puja material and inviting priests have not been given by ministers. The staff have been told to manage it themselves.

The police station on the Soudha premises, however, is decking up and all the weaponry used by the policemen is being carefully cleaned and polished for the priest at the shrine to offer prayers.Vidhana Soudha secretariat will also celebrate, but the sections will have muted celebrations.

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