Prime Minister Narendra Modi with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee releases a book during 125th birth anniversary of Netaji Subash Chandra Bose, at Victoria Memorial in Kolkata, Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee releases a book during 125th birth anniversary of Netaji Subash Chandra Bose, at Victoria Memorial in Kolkata, Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021.
PTI / Ashok Bhaumik

Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee erupted in fury on Saturday (January 23) after chants of ‘Jai Shri Ram’ was raised during a programme on Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose's 125th birth anniversary at Victoria Memorial here.

In a rare joint appearance with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the event, which was hosted to honour Netaji, the chief minister refused to speak after chants of ‘Jai Shri Ram’ was heard from the audience.

“I am insulted as it is not any political rally. It is a government programme to celebrate the birth anniversary of Netaji. After inviting me here, such an insult was not expected. As a protest, I will not speak at this event,” mentioned Mamata while thanking Prime Minister Narendra Modi for attending the event.

Notably, Prime Minister Modi, during his address at the same event referred to Mamata Banerjee as his ‘behen’ (sister).

It is pertinent to mention that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) in West Bengal are engaged in a bitter tussle over the celebrations of Netaji’s birth anniversary.

Earlier this day, the West Bengal Chief Minister had already lashed out at the Centre over the naming of Netaji’s birth anniversary as “Parakram Diwas”.

She had urged the Modi government to declare it as a national holiday and also as ‘Desh Nayak Diwas’, since Rabindranath Tagore had bestowed the title of 'Desh Nayak' on Netaji.

BJP IT cell chief Amit Malviya later took to Twitter and alleged that Banerjee had ‘insulted’ the memory of Netaji. He said that "Bengal will not tolerate this disregard of its icons".

BJP Bengal observer Kailash Vijayvargiya also mentioned that Mamata Banerjee had now ‘insulted’ Netaji, after Rabindranath Tagore.

"I fail to understand what is the problem in chanting 'Jai Shri Ram' and why Mamata-ji gets annoyed about it. I think the slogan was raised in her honour when she stood up. Leaving the dais because of the slogan shows nothing but her frustration," said BJP General Secretary Vijayvargiya.

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