The incident happened when West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee was invited to address the function organised to mark the 125th birth anniversary of Netaji.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today refused to address the function attended by PM Narendra Modi and other dignitaries after ‘Jai Shri Ram’ slogans were raised as soon as she was invited at the stage. As the CM walked towards the stage to address the function, some people from the crowd started chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram’. Reacting strongly to this, Banerjee said, “I think the government program should have dignity. This is not a political program. It doesn’t suit you to insult someone after inviting them. As a protest, I won’t speak anything,” quoted ANI Banerjee as saying.
Banerjee had not started her speech when the slogan was raised by a section of the crowd at the Victoria Memorial. Once she refused to speak, the organisers had no choice but to invite PM Narendra Modi to address the function.
Prime Minister Modi was there to celebrate the Netaji’s birth anniversary as ‘Parakram Diwas’, an announcement to which Mamata Banerjee had already expressed her displeasure publicly. Banerjee had said that the West Bengal government will keep celebrating Netaji’s birth anniversary as ‘Deshnayak Diwas’. She has also reiterated her demand to declare Netaji’s birth date January 23 as a national holiday. The Centre has decided to observe January 23 as Parakram Diwas every year from now onwards to commemorate the birth anniversary of Subhash Chandra Bose.
Addressing the function at the Victoria Memorial, PM Modi said that Netaji is a reflection of India’s might (Parakram) and inspiration. He said that the 1.3 billion people of India will be indebted to Netaji for his contribution in nation’s freedom struggle.
Earlier in the day, CM Banerjee has said that a monument, named after Azad Hind Fauj, will be built in Rajarhat area and a state-funded university, which is also being set up, will be dedicated to Netaji. She said that this year’s Republic Day parade in the state will be dedicated to Netaji.