Mamata, Modi clash over Netaji legacy

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi and West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee during a Parakram Diwas celebration event on the occasion of Netaji Subash Chandra Bose 125th birth anniversary, at Victoria Memorial in Kolkata on Saturday. (ANI Photo)

WB Chief Minister says there will be befitting ‘reaction’ for every ‘wrong action’

Our Bureau
New Delhi  

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee did not deliver her speech “in protest” at an event at Victoria Memorial here to mark the 125th birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose after ‘Jai Shree Ram’ slogans were raised when she was invited to speak. She said “government programme should have some dignity” and it “is not fair to insult somebody whom you have invited”. The event was presided over by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

In her brief remarks, a visibly upset Mamata Banerjee said it was a government programme and not that of a political party. The Trinamool Congress leader also said that she was grateful to the Prime Minister and Cultural Ministry for organising the event at Kolkata. “I think the government programme should have some dignity. This is a government programme and not a political party’s programme. I am grateful to the Prime Minister, Culture Ministry for organizing an event in Kolkata. But this is not fair to insult someone whom you have invited. In protest, I am not going to speak anything. Jai Hind, Jai Bangla,” she said.

Slamming the central government for allegedly ‘destroying’ the ‘federal structure’, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday said there will be befitting ‘reaction’ for every ‘wrong action’.

Addressing an event celebrating the 125th birth anniversary of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose here, Banerjee said, “Netaji endorsed Tagore’s Jana Gana Mana as the National Anthem. They are trying to play with the National Anthem. We will not tolerate this. If you do good, we will listen to it. But if you do the wrong action, we will show the reaction.” “Netaji envisioned the Planning Commission. I used to go to the Planning Commission to discuss policies. Today there is no space for discussion. The federal structure is destroyed. We demand the National Planning Commission must be brought back,” claimed Banerjee.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee speaks during her visit to Netaji Bhavan on Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose’s birth anniversary, in Kolkata on Saturday. (ANI Photo)

She said Netaji constituted the Indian National Army with people from all the regions and religions. “Netaji stood against the divide and rule policy of the British. History cannot be written in new forms. We want a united India,” she added.

The chief minister said there should be four capitals in India and the demand regarding this will be raised in the parliament. ”One nation, one political party will not work,” she said.

On Centre’s decision to celebrate Netaji’s birthday as ‘Parakram Diwas’, Banerjee reacted saying, “What is Parakram? They should at least consult me or Sougata Bose or any other, about which word to use. We will celebrate the day as Desh Nayak Diwas.”

She explained that Rabindranath Tagore addressed Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose ‘Desh Nayak’. She also announced about building Azad Hind Monument. 

Taking strong objection to “religious” slogan raised when Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was invited to speak at Parakram Diwas event at Victoria Memorial here on Saturday, Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra alleged that the central government has completely violated “sanctity of democracy”.

She said there cannot be religious chant at an official event and “it is only lumpen, uneducated people like in BJP who can defend this kind of nonsense”. “This was an official event. An official event is different from a religious event. You want to have a ‘hawan’ in your home, you have the freedom to do as you like. But this government has completely violated all sanctity of democracy. Religion does not equal government. At an official event, you can’t have a religious chant. As long as it is secular democracy, you can’t do that,” she said.

“If you want to change the constitution, please go ahead and do it, and then do what you like. But till that time you can’t have a religious chant at an official event. And it is only lumpen, uneducated people like in BJP who can defend this kind of nonsense,” she added. 

But, objecting to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee not delivering her speech during Parakram Diwas event at Victoria Memorial here, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s grandnephew and BJP leader CK Bose on Saturday said that ‘Jai Shri Ram’ is not a slogan to which one should react in an “allergic manner.”

“I think the CM need not have reacted adversely to a slogan whether it is ‘Jai Hind’ or ‘Jai Shri Ram’. This is not the day to do any politics. It is a day to celebrate, it is a day to pay homage to the soldiers and martyrs of the Indian National Army,” he added.

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