Sharpening her attack on the BJP, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday said the Narendra Modi government, with the promise of installing a statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose at the India Gate, cannot absolve itself of the injustice done to her state by rejecting its Republic Day tableau on the legendary freedom fighter. She iterated that no reason was cited for summarily rejecting the tableau.

“We will roll out the tableau during the Republic Day parade on Red Road here. You (People) will see how vibrant and creative it is, summing up the spirit of Netaji’s valour and our 75th Independence The Centre cannot absolve itself of the injustice done to Bengal by rejecting its tableau,” she said during her speech here. Hitting out at the Centre, the TMC supremo said that the BJP-led Centre failed to live up to its promise of unearthing the mystery behind the disappearance of Netaji.

“You cannot proclaim love for Netaji by setting up a statue, what have you done to unveil the mystery behind his disappearance? This government at the Centre had promised to unearth all mysteries after coming to power, but it failed,” the CM stated. She maintained that her government, on its part, “digitised all files related to Netaji at our disposal to make these available in public domain. Banerjee slammed the Centre over its move to merge Amar Jawan Jyoti with the National War memorial flame.

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“Your act of extinguishing the Amar Jawan flame cannot be atoned for by installing a statue of Netaji. Please stop politicising war memorials and statues,” she lashed out. The CM also criticised the Modi government “for disbanding the Planning Commission”, and said a Bengal Planning Commission will be set up by her government upholding Netaji’s objectives. “The very concept of federalism came from stalwarts like Netaji, Rishi Aurobindo and Vivekananda. And BJP is out to destroy the federal spirit of the country as evident in all their steps. They are summoning IAS officers from Bengal to Delhi; they had summoned our chief secretary in the past. They are disturbing our senior officials,” she claimed. Not naming any party, the CM said attempts to change and distort the history of the country should be resisted. “Those making such attempts should be asked if they have read the works of Netaji, his speeches. Remember his most trusted lieutenant in INA was a Muslim. The ones peddling the ideology of division and hatred must first learn about Gandhiji. Netaji and B R Ambedkar,” the TMC boss maintained.

She emphasised that the glorious history of Bengal in the freedom struggle should be taught in schools. “India’s national anthem was written by Rabindranath Tagore, our national song was penned by Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay, the Jai Hind slogan was coined by Netaji. Bengal and Punjab have made major contributions to the freedom movement,” Banerjee said. Listing future plans of her government, the CM said Jai Hind Bahini would be formed in schools, as part of which children would serve people, upholding the ideology of Netaji. The CM, before beginning her speech, blew a conch shell to mark the time of Netaji’s birth, while sirens were played in different parts of the state. Netaji’s grand nephew and eminent historian Sugata Bose sang the iconic Indian National Army song Subhash Ji Subhash Ji’ on the occasion.

The very concept of federalism came from stalwarts like Netaji, Rishi Aurobindo and Vivekananda. And BJP is out to destroy the federal spirit of the country as evident in all their steps. They are summoning IAS officers from Bengal to Delhi; they had summoned our chief secretary in the past. They are disturbing our senior officials .

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