Mamata refuses to speak amid chants of 'Jai Shri Ram' at Netaji event
Kolkata: The 125th birth anniversary programme at Victoria Memorial received a major jolt when Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee refused to address the gathering after being insulted by some BJP supporters, who raised 'Jai Shri Ram' slogan as she got up from her seat to give her speech.
Banerjee was sharing the dais with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar, Union minister of Culture Prahlad Singh Patel and Union Minister of State for Environment Babul Supriyo. The programme that witnessed songs by well-known artistes received a major disruption when some BJP supporters raised 'Jai Shri Ram' slogan as Mamata rose from her seat to address the gathering. The announcers requested them to maintain cool. A visibly annoyed Banerjee refused to deliver her speech in protest.
"It is a Central government programme and it must have dignity. It is not the programme of a political party. I thank the Prime Minister and the ministry of Culture for holding the programme in Kolkata. It is unbecoming of you to insult an invited guest. In protest, I will not say anything," Banerjee said. Within 15 minutes after this unexpected incident, Trinamool Congress leaders criticised the 'shameless' BJP workers for their undignified behaviour. Trinamool Youth Congress president and party's MP Abhishek Banerjee retweeted Derek O'Brien's tweet stating: "dignity (noun) The state or quality of being worthy of honour and respect. You can't teach 'dignity'. Nor can you teach lumpens to be dignified. Here is a one-min video of what exactly happened today. Including the dignified response by @MamataOfficial." Continued on P5