'Won't speak at this platform': Mamata feels 'insulted' at Centre's Netaji event
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday rejected to speak at the Centre's 'Parakram Divas' celebrations at Victoria Memorial in Kolkata as she said she felt insulted. "This is not a party programme. This is an event of the government. All political parties and people are part of this event. Government should have some dignity. Don't insult me after calling. On protest, I refuse to speak at this event. Jai Hind, Jai Bangla," Banerjee said and left the stage fuming. However, she thanked PM Modi and the culture ministry for holding the event in Kolkata.
What irked her before her speech were presumably the chants of 'Jai Shri Ram' and 'Modi' which is why Banerjee mentioned that the programme was not a political one.
PM Modi took the stage shortly after and didn't mention anything on Banerjee's sudden exit from the stage. He mentioned Banerjee's name as he mentioned all other dignitaries present at the event, and referred her as 'behen'.
Amid the ongoing tussle between the Centre and the West Bengal government on one hand and BJP and Trinamool on the other — ahead of the assembly elections in the state — Prime Minister Narendra Modi and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee were seen together as PM Modi took a tour at Victoria Memorial ahead of the event.
The celebration of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose's 125th birth anniversary has been a flaring point between the Trinamool and the BJP as the Centre on January 19 announced that from this year January 23 will be celebrated as 'Parakram Divas'.
Early in the day, Mamata Banerjee led a march in Kolkata — from Shyambazar yo Red Road and attacked the Centre for noticing Netaji's birth anniversary only in the year when the state is scheduled to go to the assembly polls. Banerjee also questioned why Centre called it 'Parakram Divas', why January 23 is not a national holiday, why there is no memorial for Netaji. Banerjee also made it a point to mention that the West Bengal government celebrates the day every year, not only in the election year.