Burdwan (WB), Sep 20 (PTI) A large number of priests joined the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) in West Bengal's East Burdwan district on Sunday, days after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced a monthly honorarium for them.
At least 68 priests, including some from the temple of the presiding deity of Burdwan town -- Sarbamangala Mandir -- joined the party.
District TMC vice-president Arup Das and district Trinamool Youth Congress president Rashbehari Haldar welcomed the priests to the party at a programme here.
Under frequent attacks by the opposition for 'minority appeasement', Banerjee announced a monthly financial assistance of Rs 1,000 and free housing for over 8,000 Hindu priests in the state ahead of the Assembly election, which is likely to be held in April-May next year.
Asked whether their joining the TMC was influenced by the chief minister's announcement, a few of the priests said no other political party had ever thought about their interests. PTI CORR AMR SOM RC