Millennium Post

Isn't Netaji a national leader? CM to BJP

Darjeeling: The Centre has failed to accord Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose the status of a national hero till now, and that is why his birth anniversary is not declared as a national holiday, feels Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

Banerjee was present at the state government programme on Wednesday at the Darjeeling Chowrasta to mark the 122nd birth anniversary of Netaji.

"The Bengal government commemorates the birth anniversary of Netaji in the Darjeeling Hills because he used to love the Hills and had close ties with the place and its people," she declared.

Addressing a massive turnout at the Chowrasta, the Chief Minister stated that the Hills occupied an important part of Netaji's struggle for Independence. "Netaji was interned in his family house at Giddeypahar, Kurseong, for seven long months in 1936. He again spent a few days in the same house in October 1937. From here, he carried out various activities connected with the freedom struggle. Netaji loved Darjeeling and its people, and that is why we commemorate his birth anniversary in the Hills," stated Banerjee.

However, Chief Minister lamented that the Union government has failed to view Netaji as a national hero.

"Netaji's contribution to this country cannot be measured. I feel sorry that his birthday has not been declared a national holiday by the Central government," she retorted.

The Chief Minister stressed on the need for children and the youth to know about the contribution of Bengal and especially Netaji during the freedom movement. "Bengal gave birth to the freedom struggle and the cultural movement. Netaji coined the slogan Jai Hind, Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay Vande Mataram and Rabindranath Tagore penned the national anthem Jana Gana Mana," stated Banerjee.

The Chief Minister stated that Netaji always stood for unity and had declared that people have to remain united despite diverse languages, cultures and religions.

"We respect leaders who unite and do not divide people. A true national leader is one who walks along with everyone despite different caste, creed, language and religion. One who creates a rift between people and indulges in divisive politics is not a true national leader. He is just a leader for himself," she remarked.

The Chief Minister also stated that the special committee under the GTA had submitted a report on proposed development plans to the Chief Secretary, Government of West Bengal.

Banerjee laid foundation stones for a host of projects and distributed benefits among beneficiaries of different government schemes.

The projects for which the foundation stones were laid include RSI/Composite bridge over Chelo River at Uttar Simlabari, Alipurduar, first-ever government engineering and technical college in Alipurduar district, Chalsa Tourist Resort in Kalimpong district, Joist Bridge over Mora Torsa at Banchukumari, Cooch Behar; drinking water scheme at Maneybhanjyang, Darjeeling; Delo Tourist Resort, Kalimpong; joist bridge over River Dara at Chaodanga, Cooch Behar; auditorium at Dhupguri, Jalpaiguri; Jhalong Resort in Jalpaiguri along with joist bridges, roads, drinking water projects and drains.

The Chief Minister also inaugurated Alipurduar Mahila Mahavidyalaya, Alipurduar; Siliguri Gate; Paharia Bhawan at Matigarah, Siliguri; Cultural Development Centre at Lava, Kalimpong along with other projects. Inclement weather forced the programme duration to be advanced by around 45 minutes.

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