Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has already faced flak for squandering financial resources in organising cultural events, but her announcement of a “ Matir Utsab ” (Festival of the Soil) on Friday is sure to raise more eyebrows.

Speaking at a rally at Borojagulia in Nadia district during the day, Ms. Banerjee mentioned her love for “ Ma ” and “Mati” – the reference to her party’s Ma Mati Manus (the mother, the soil and the people) slogan could not be missed.

Later in the day at Amdanga in North 24 Parganas district, she announced that her government will organise a “Matir Utsab” on February 9.

“I love the smell of the soil so we have organised the Matir Utsab ,” Ms. Banerjee said.

 She said that she loves visiting the districts because she loves to return to the soil, crediting herself for not only running the government from Kolkata but taking it to the people.

 “I like to come here because I can see for myself the sorrows of the mothers,” she said, adding that the people of the State are the only family she has.