Kolkata: After Swami Vivekananda, now Rabindranath Tagore and associated Bengali sentiments seem to be the centrepiece of the bitter electoral war between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Trinamool Congress (TMC) in West Bengal, as both parties try to woo voters ahead of the polls.
In the run-up to the assembly elections, both the ruling TMC and the BJP are leaving no stones unturned to encash the Bengali sentiments. Declaring themselves as ‘perfectly Bengali’, both the parties on Sunday fought over Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore.
BJP West Bengal general secretary Sayantan Basu was seen cleaning the statue of Rabindranath Tagore at Salt Lake, under the Bidhannagar Assembly constituency.
Alleging that the TMC had built the statues of saints but doesn’t show the minimum respect to them, Sayantan claimed that only the saffron camp holds 'true respect' for the Nobel Laureate.
“The statue of the bishwa-kabi is cleaned only twice a year, once during his birth anniversary and the second time on his death anniversary. The TMC had built several statues of saints across the state but doesn’t respect them or follow their ideologies. The BJP pledges to follow the footprints of such saints,” said Sayantan to the Free Press Journal, while garlanding the statue.
Taking a jibe at the BJP’s move, Bidhhannagar MLA and West Bengal Fire minister Sujit Bose said that BJP only knows how to do 'drama' as they don’t even know where Tagore was born.
“BJP national president JP Nadda, in his visit to West Bengal, claimed that Tagore was born in Visva-Bharati. They don’t even know that Visva-Bharati was found by the Nobel Laureate. Those who are callous about the saints of the state and Bengali culture are just faking their Bengali sentiments ahead of the polls,” slammed Bose.
It is pertinent to mention that on December 11, amidst all the Bengali cultural extravaganza with songs of Tagore and folk music, Union Home Minister Amit Shah had visited the Visva-Bharati university campus in Bolpur, which was set up by Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore.
On the other hand, the TMC is growing increasingly concerned about BJP ‘usurping’ Tagore and has held protest rallies in front the ancestral house of Tagore in Kolkata's Jorasanko area.
On January 12, to celebrate the birth anniversary of youth icon Swami Vivekananda, both the ruling Trinamool Congress and the BJP had taken out rallies across the state, where both the parties had claimed that they follow the ideologies of Swami Vivekananda.