Kolkata: Ending the controversy over its housing, the West Bengal government has decided that the proposed Nazrul Islam Academy in memory of the Rebel Poet will come up on a plot owned by it and not at Indira Bhawan following opposition from Congress.
"Our friends in the Congress played politics over this which is unfortunate," state Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim said announcing that the foundation stone of Nazrul Academy at Rajarhat would be laid by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday, the poet`s birthday.
Ally Congress had opposed the Trinamool Congress-led government`s plan of converting and renaming Indira Bhavan into Nazrul Bhavan.
Indira Bhavan was built in 1972 in Salt Lake primarily to serve as a guest house for the then prime minister Indira Gandhi during the AICC session held in the city.
The erstwhile Left Front government renovated Indira Bhavan and converted it into the official residence of former chief minister Jyoti Basu, who moved into it in August 1989 and continued to live there till his death in 2010.
Family members of the poet are upset with the political twist being given to the setting up of the academy.
"Whatever has happened is very unfortunate and painful for all of us. Why should anyone play politics over this? All we want is that the academy should come up at a proper place," Nazrul`s daughter-in-law Kalyani Kazi, also a member of the academy, said.