Congratulating Nobel laureate Abhijit Banerjee, chief minister Mamata Banerjee today took a dig at a section of politicians who have claimed that Bengal is failing to produce scientists.

“There are many people who have mocked the merit of Bengalis and said that Bengal cannot produce scientists. But it is to be remembered that our talent works everywhere from NASA to ‘Bhasha’. When people try to insult Bengalis I cannot tolerate it,” said Miss Banerjee at a programme to hand over Biswa Bangla Sharad Samman to Durga Puja committees at Nabanna sabhaghar.

Miss Banerjee has often accused the BJP for disrespecting the culture and merit of the people of Bengal.

Speaking on the occasion, Miss Banerjee said that many small clubs with minimum resources have come up with exceptionally well puja pandals and themes.

The pujas help in generating employment, income as well as leads to a beautification drive, she said.

Applauding the carnival, which stepped into the fourth year this time, Miss Banerjee said that Durga Puja is India’s official nomination for UNESCO’s 2020 list of cultural institutions from around the world that require protection and preservation.

“Carnivals are held everywhere but the one that is held in our state is the best. With every passing year, the event has been turning up very good,” she said.

Apart from Kolkata, Puja committees in the 22 districts were awarded Biswa Bangla Sharad Samman.

Along with this, the awards were also given by Kolkata Police. Twenty seven puja committees were awarded with ‘Sherar Sera’ award including Barisha Club, Chetla Agrani, Suruchi Sangha, Tridhara, Ekdalia Evergreen, Naktala Udayan Sangha Chakraberia, Behala Natun Dal and Sreebhumi Sporting Club.

The Shera Paribeshbandhab award was given to Baghajatin B & C Block, Purbachal Shakti Sangha and Santoshpur Lake Pally. Shera Dhakesree was awarded to Bagbazar Sarbojanin, Shera Branding to Alipore Sarbojanin and Shera Theme Song, whose lyrics was penned by Miss Banerjee, to Suruchi Sangha.