AMID confusion about the official ceremony to pay homage to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose on his 116th birth anniversary, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday skipped the function at the Red Road — where till date government used to hold celebrations — and reached Netaji Bhawan on Elgin Road, the freedom fighter’s ancestral home, “without prior intimation”.
“I’m sorry to arrive at Netaji Bhawan without prior intimation. But from next year, the government along with the officials of Netaji Bhawan will jointly organise the programme to celebrate birthday of Netaji in a much organised manner,” she told the audience after entering the venue with 117 students dressed as Netaji.
The All India Forward Bloc, the party formed by Netaji, slammed the CM’s action saying there was no need to change the venue of the official function. “Why did they do it? Whom did you insult?” Bloc leader H A Sairani asked, and questioned the chief minister why she did not attend the programme at the traditional venue where party state secretary Ashok Ghosh was present.
“The chief minister did not bother to discuss with us. I am shocked. By shifting the venue of Netaji birthday programme, she has created a precedence,” he said.
He alleged that no intimation was given to the committee by the state government that the venue had been shifted to Netaji Bhavan.
At Netaji Bhawan, where Governor M K Narayanan was present along with Netaji's daughter Anita Pfaff, Mamata announced to set up a monument at Netaji’s ancestral village in Subhasgram in South 24-Parganas.
“On Monday, I visited Canning. On my way home, I went to Subhasgram and there I saw a plot around 4-5 cottahs. We will set up a museum on the plot within a year as a mark of tribute to the great leader,” she said. The heritage building of Netaji at Kodalia, where a library is still in operation, will also be revamped, she added.