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Latest Congress-Mamata tiff over names

After embarrassing the Congress on FDI and lokpal issues, the Trinamool Congress has now ruffled the feathers of its alliance partner on renaming Indira Bhavan in Kolkata as Nazrul Bhavan to honour Bengali revolutionary poet Kazi Nazrul Islam. Aurangzeb Naqshbandi reports.

delhi Updated: Jan 03, 2012 02:01 IST
Aurangzeb Naqshbandi

After embarrassing the Congress on FDI and lokpal issues, the Trinamool Congress has now ruffled the feathers of its alliance partner on renaming Indira Bhavan in Kolkata as Nazrul Bhavan to honour Bengali revolutionary poet Kazi Nazrul Islam.

Rubbing salt into Congress wounds, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee reportedly announced the decision to rename the Bhavan on December 28, the foundation day of the Congress party.

The Congress has protested the move and sought clarification from Banerjee. “The state government should clarify and explain its move so that the matter is settled once and for all,” party’s West Bengal in-charge Shakeel Ahmed said.

His presence along with top state leaders in the December 31 emergency meeting at Bidhan Bhavan was a clear indication that the Congress leadership had taken the issue very seriously.

Following the meeting, West Bengal Congress president Pradip Bhattacharya rushed a letter to Banerjee, requesting her not to change its name.

“You will appreciate that Indira Bhavan is closely associated with the memory of our beloved leader and late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and sentiments of millions of people are involved with the name and memory of Indiraji,” he wrote.

“There is no logic or justification in renaming Indira Bhavan,” he said. “I request you to reconsider the decision... We won’t accept such a renaming.”

The announcement had also triggered protests from Youth Congress and NSUI cadres in a few parts of the state.

The Congress leadership is not convinced with Banerjee’s assurance to irrigation minister Manas Bhunia that there was no plan to change the name.

“We can’t go by that. The past experiences have shown that… she has gone back on her words on a number of occasions,” said a senior leader.

The leader referred to the last- minute objections from the Trinamool Congress to the Lokpal Bill and FDI.