Kolkata, April 15 : Cutting across the party lines, Lok Sabha candidates in Bengal distributed sweets, presented roses to pedestrians and offered prayers at temples on Monday on the occasion of "Poila Boisakh", the Bengali new year.

Leaders started poll campaigns by wishing people "shubho naba barsho" (Happy New Year in Bengali), exchanging pleasantries and distributing sweets. Some also took part in morning procession, followed by cultural programmes, organised in various localities in the city and suburbs.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee extended greetings through a video message on the social media and wished happiness and prosperity to the people on the joyous occasion. She also prayed at Kalighat temple on Sunday night.

Meanwhile, Kalyan Banerjee, Trinamool Congress Lok Sabha candidate from Serampore, was seen distributing roses to bus and auto-rickshaw drivers in his constituency.

"The people who are providing services on special occasions like this, often don't get the opportunity to spend time with families. They are serving us since morning. I decided to give them roses as a token of our love and gratitude on the occasion of the new year," he said.

BJP's Jadavpur candidate Anupam Hazra also distributed flowers among pedestrians and wished them well.

Kalyan Chowbey, the BJP candidate from Krishnanagar, offered prayers at a temple in the area and distributed 'prasad' among supporters and party activists. "The political scenario in Bengal has become violent. There is no security for innocent. I pray people stay peaceful and happy this new year," said the former international footballer.

Shunning the usual door-to-door campaign, state BJP women wing chief Locket Chatterjee took a boat ride on the river Hoogly along with her party activists and waved at supporters at both the sides of the river.

"It is a new experience on a new year. I wish everyone well. People's support is with us. We are hoping to bring a new dawn in Bengal this new year," Chatterjee said.

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