Netaji death anniversary: TMC leader wants proof as Congress pays tribute
The newly reignited bonhomie between the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress and the grand old party in their bid to stitch a united opposition against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) hit a minor hurdle on Wednesday over the commemoration of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose’s death anniversary.
TMC spokesperson and former Rajya Sabha MP Kunal Ghosh hit out at the Congress for its tweet on Netaji’s death anniversary and said this was akin to playing with the emotions of Bengal and India as details of the legendary freedom fighter’s demise is yet to be made public. He said both the Congress and BJP governments did not make any effort to find out the facts regarding the last moments of Bose.
Earlier in the day, the Congress paid tribute to Netaji with an image that had a famous quote of the revolutionary leader along with his birth and death dates (January 23, 1897 - August 18, 1947).
Stating his objections to the tweet, Ghosh asked the grand old party to “first prove the death and publish (related) classified files”.
Also read | Firebrand who shaped Bengal’s politics, culture
While the Congress has not made any further comment over the issue, a tweet of former Union minister and BJP leader Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank on the same issue has now been removed after Ghosh trained his guns on him as well. He asked Pokhriyal to prove Netaji’s death before trying to rewrite history.
All parties, including the BJP, have been trying to cash in on Bose’s legacy over the years with new politics emerging over the revolutionary leader’s 125th birthday celebrations. While the central government has announced that Netaji’s birth anniversary will be celebrated as Parakram Diwas, the Trinamool government in Bengal has said the day should be remembered as Desh Prem Diwas.
However, a TMC spokesperson’s open attack on the Congress over the issue at a time when senior functionaries, including Banerjee, are trying to put a united front against the BJP ahead of the next general election, has come as a surprise to many.
In 2016, the Narendra Modi government had declassified several files related to Bose and later said he had lost his life in a crash, while in 2019, the Press Information Bureau declared August 18 as the date of Netaji’s death. However, all of these continue to be contested by many, including some of his family members, amid several theories behind Netaji going missing and possible death. A PIB tweet in this regard also had to be withdrawn following protests.