‘Jai Shri Ram’ slogan angers Mamata during Netaji’s birth anniversary
Kolkata: West Bengal’s ruling Trinamool Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Centre are engaged in a tussle over the celebration of Netaji’s 125th birth anniversary that is taking place in Kolkata on Saturday.
But at Kolkata’s Victoria Memorial, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee came together along with Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar to attend the programme. Everything was going fine till Mamata was requested to deliver her speech on the podium and a section of people from the audience shouted “Jai Shri Ram” slogans which clearly made the West Bengal Chief Minister angry.
“This is not a political programme. I think there should be some dignity in a Government programme,” Mamata said, adding that as a protest she will not speak on the occasion. She said that it doesn’t suit to invite someone and then insult her at the event. She also thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Culture Ministry for inviting her to the Government event.
Protesting the incident, Trinamool Congress’ Lok Sabha member from Basirhat, Nusrat Jahan, strongly condemned shouting of political and religious slogans at Government functions.
“I strongly condemn the shouting of political and religious slogans at Government functions to celebrate the legacy of freedom fighter Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose on his 125th birth anniversary celebrations,” Jahan stated.
The optics of Saturday’s events in Kolkata over Netaji’s birth anniversary celebration were significant in the context of the upcoming Assembly elections that are just a few months away.
Earlier in the day, Mamata paid a surprise visit to Netaji’s ancestral residence on Elgin Road where she criticised the Centre’s decision to announce January 23 as ‘Parakram Diwas’. “I don’t understand the meaning of Parakram Diwas. We celebrate the day as Deshnayak Diwas,” Mamata said. She further said that Netaji doesn’t require anyone’s mercy at all.
On the occasion of commemorating 125th birth anniversary of Netaji, the Centre had already declared January 23 as ‘Parakram Diwas’ to honour the boundless courage and valour of Netaji.