Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee on Saturday, stated that India should have four alternative capitals, with Kolkata being one among them.
She was speaking at a rally organised on the occasion of the 125th birth anniversary of freedom fighter Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.
Pointing out that the British empire ruled India from Kolkata, she questioned why there should be only one capital city in the country and expressed her belief that the country should have four alternate capital cities.
Banerjee also questioned the Union Government’s decision to declare January 23 as Parakram Diwas saying that they are observing the day as “Deshnaayak Divas”. “I don’t understand the meaning of ‘Parakram Diwas’. We celebrate the day as ‘Deshnayak Diwas’,” Banerjee said, slamming the Centre for observing Netaji’s birth anniversary before January 23.
“Do you know why we celebrate the day as ‘Deshnayak Diwas’ because Rabindranath Tagore used to call Netaji by that… Netaji should be understood with emotions. There were very few people who had the same amount of love for their motherland as him. Though we all know his birthday, we are unaware of the details of his death,” she said.
The Chief Minister announced that the West Bengal Government would be building a monument to honour Netaji and slammed the BJP saying that they remember the Netaji only during elections. “We don’t celebrate Netaji’s birthday only during elections. This year we have made a grand celebration as it is his 125th birth anniversary,” she added.
The West Bengal government has already set up a committee to conduct year-long celebrations till January 23, 2022 across the state. It also announced that a monument, named after Azad Hind Fauj, will be built at Rajarhat.
The Chief Minister will participate in a grand march from Kolkata’s Shyambazar five-point crossing to Red Road on Saturday. “A siren will be sounded today at 12.15 pm. We urge everyone to blow ‘Shankh’ (conch shell) at home,” she said, demanding that the Centre must also declare January 23 as a national holiday.
Banerjee said that this year’s Republic Day parade in Kolkata would also be dedicated to Bose.
(With IANS inputs)