TMC, BJP trade barbs before PM Modi's Kolkata visit
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Kolkata on January 23 to celebrate Subhas Chandra Bose’s birthday as Parakram Diwas, or day of valour, is a “publicity stunt” to woo West Bengal’s voters ahead of the upcoming assembly polls, the Trinamool Congress said on Thursday, even as the state announced that it will celebrate the day as Desh Nayak Diwas, or day of the national hero.
The state government also appealed to people through televised advertisements to blow conch shells at 12.15 pm, the time of Bose’s birth in Odisha’s Cuttack in 1897. Both the Centre and the state have decided to organise various programmes for Bose’s 125th birthday next year. The year-long celebrations will begin this January 23.
“This is a publicity stunt and is politically motivated...It is only to woo Bengal’s voters,” said Bengal’s deputy parliamentary affairs minster Tapas Roy.
BJP state vice-president Ritesh Tiwari criticised the TMC and said, “It is the Modi government that gave proper recognition to the Azad Hind government that Netaji (as Bose is popularly known as) formed. Nobody did it in decades.”
On the other hand, the Forward Bloc, which Bose formed in 1939, and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) said they will celebrate the legendary freedom fighter’s birthday as Desh Prem Diwas, or day of patriotism, as declared by the previous Left Front government in 2010.