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.
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- TMC releases first list of 291 candidates for West Bengal assembly polls, CM Mamata Banerjee to contest from Nandigram
- The opposition leader is also scheduled to meet senior TMC minister Firhad Hakim and hold talks about the upcoming Bengal polls.
- TMC and BJP have dismissed the Left rally as insignificant. While the TMC claims CM Mamata Banerjee will return to power for the third time, BJP says the elections are bi-polar and there is no space for the Left.
- The BJP lodged a complaint in the Phoolbagan police station. Senior BJP leaders of the state rushed to the spot to take stock of the situation.
- The TMC asked the EC why the polls could not be held in fewer phases.
- She alleged that the poll panel scheduled the election dates keeping in mind the BJP’s demands.
- The CBI earlier questioned Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s nephew and Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Abhishek Banerjee’s wife Rujira Banerjee in the case.
- Besides rallies, the chief minister’s itinerary could include religious stopovers at important places of worship.
- "Modi government only makes false promises, has done nothing to bring down fuel prices," PTI quoted the Bengal chief minister as saying.