'Why no memorial for Netaji?': Mamata Banerjee asks Centre ahead of PM visit
After kicking off a procession in Kolkata to pay tribute to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose on his 125th birth anniversary, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee said that while thousands of crores were spent in building statues and a new parliament complex, no memorial was built for the freedom fighter.
"A monument, named after Azad Hind Fauj, will be built at Rajarhat. A university named after Netaji is also being set up which shall be funded entirely by the state, and will have tie-ups with foreign universities," she said.
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Reiterating her demand that January 23 be declared a national holiday, Banerjee said that this year's Republic Day parade in Kolkata will also be dedicated to Bose. "A grand padyatra will be held today. This year's Republic Day parade in Kolkata will also be dedicated to Netaji. A siren will be sounded today at 12.15 PM. We urge everyone to blow shankh at home. Centre must also declare January 23 as a national holiday," she said.
While addressing a public rally, Banerjee further said that India should have four rotating Capitals instead of just one in New Delhi. She also directed Trinamool Congress MPs to raise the issue in parliament. "I believe that India must have four rotating capitals. The English ruled the entire country from Kolkata. Why should there be only one capital city in our country?" she said.
Attacking the Centre further, the West Bengal CM said that the state was celebrating 'Deshnaayak Divas' today, not 'Parakram Diwas'. "We have observed 'Deshnaayak Divas' today. Rabindranath Tagore called Netaji 'Deshnaayak'. What is this 'Parakram'?" Mamata Banerjee said. On January 19, the Centre had announced that every year the legendary freedom fighter's birth anniversary will be celebrated as 'Parakram Diwas'.
Meanwhile, PM Modi is expected to land in Kolkata later in the day and attend the inauguration of a permanent exhibition on Subhas Chandra Bose at the Victoria Memorial.
(with agency inputs)
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- 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.