Kolkata: PM Modi attends event commemorating Bose's 125th birth anniversary
Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Kolkata on Saturday afternoon to take part in the Parakram Diwas celebrations to commemorate the 125th birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. As part of the celebrations, he also attended an event at Victoria Memorial where West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar also shared the dais with him. Here's more.
Modi's visit assumes significance ahead of WB Assembly elections
Interestingly, PM Modi's visit to Kolkata assumes significance ahead of the West Bengal Assembly elections, which are scheduled for April-May. The ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are engaged in a political standoff ahead of the polls. The Prime Minister's visit also comes amid a tussle between the Centre and the WB Government over Bose's legacy.
'His contribution to India is indelible'
"His bravery and ideals inspire every Indian. His contribution to India is indelible. India bows to the great Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose," tweeted the Prime Minister's Office after PM Modi reached Kolkata. Before reaching Victoria Memorial, he visited Bose's ancestral house, Netaji Bhavan, and also attended an international seminar on the freedom fighter at the National Library.
'Every Indian is indebted to Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose'
Speaking about Bose at the event organized at Victoria Memorial, PM Modi praised the freedom fighter, saying, "During the World War II and changing political dynamics, why did he go to every country to ask for help? For our freedom! For a free India!" "Every Indian is indebted to Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose," the Prime Minister added.
'World is watching India's avatar from LAC to LoC'
Modi said Bose will be proud to see India today, adding, "From LAC to LOC, the world is witnessing India's powerful avatar once envisioned by Netaji." He further said, "When the world was discussing basic rights of women, Netaji formed the Rani Jhansi Regiment and connected them to the freedom struggle. He trained...and instilled in them a passion for the country and fighting for it."
CM Banerjee refuses to speak at Victoria Memorial event
A section of the crowd at the event also raised slogans like "Jai Shree Ram," "Modi-Modi," and "Bharat Mata Ki Jai" when the Prime Minister was on the stage. However, similar slogans were also raised and the crowd began making noise when CM Banerjee was invited to address the gathering, following which she refused to speak at the event.
'There should be some dignity when government program is held'
Angered by the crowd's behavior, CM Banerjee said, "I feel there should be some dignity when a government program is being held. This is a government program, not a political party's program. This is a program of all parties and people."
I am not speaking anything more: Banerjee
"I am thankful to the Prime Minister and the Union Cultural Ministry for holding this program on Netaji in Kolkata," CM Banerjee said. She added, "But it is unbecoming of you all to insult someone after inviting her to an event. In protest to this, I am not speaking anything more. Jai Hind. Jai Bangla."