Mamata attack Centre over disbanding Netaji's brain-child
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee launched a veiled attack on the Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ahead of the Prime Minister's visit to Kolkata for the 125th birth anniversary celebrations of freedom fighter Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose on Saturday.
Banerjee said this year’s Republic Day celebrations in Kolkata would be dedicated to Netaji and announced a monument named after Azad Hind Fauj he founded and a university named after the legendary freedom fighter.
"The National Planning Commission was Netaji's brain-child. But that has been disbanded. I would like to put this question today. If we love Netaji, why was the commission dissolved?” Banerjee asked.
The Narendra Modi government disbanded the Planning commission in 2014 and formed Niti Aayog. The Planning Commission, set up in 1950, was a government institution which formulated India’s Five-Year Plans besides performing other functions.
The Centre has announced that it would celebrate Bose's birth anniversary as Parakram Diwas (day of valour). The Mamata Banerjee-administration in West Bengal has declared that the state would celebrate the day as Deshnayak Divas. The chief minister launched the celebration in the state by blowing a conch shell
“I don’t know whether Parakram is a Bengali word, English word or a Sanskrit word. All I understand is that he [Bose] was a Desh Nayak. We would be celebrating this day as Desh Nayak Day because Rabindranath Tagore first described Netaji as Desh Nayak.”
She was addressing a gathering organised at Netaji Bhawan, the ancestral house of Bose in south Kolkata.
Benerjee changed her plans at the last minute and headed to Netaji Bhawan where Modi is also expected to visit later in the day during his six-hour stay to Kolkata. She later visited Shyambazar in North Kolkata to pay tribute to Netaji to start the day’s celebrations. A huge statue of Netaji, riding a horse, is located at the five-point crossing at Shaymbazar crossing.
“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 shankhs at home. The Centre must also declare January 23 as a National Holiday. 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. #DeshNayakDibas,” Banerjee tweeted earlier in the day.
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