Mamata takes on Gandhis with ‘Indira’ jab

West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee’s proposal to rename Indira Bhavan, a guest house named after the former Congress PM, has now snowballed into a major controversy.

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: It seems that all is not well between Congress and Trinamool Congress as West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s proposal to rename Indira Bhavan, a guest house named after the former Congress Prime Minister, has now snowballed into a major controversy.

Reports, Tuesday, claimed that Mamata’s decision to rename the building located in Kolkata`s Salt Lake has irked the Congress party and its youth wing is holding a demonstration in the city to protest the move.

The Trinamool leader wants the building renamed as Nazrul Bhavan after the legendary Bengali poet Kazi Nazrul.

The building was the official residence of the late West Bengal chief minister Jyoti Basu. But controversy erupted after the CPM vacated the building last week. The Trinamool has since withdrawn the proposal but the Congress wants an official notification about it.
Hitting back on the Congress party, Banerjee said, “I never criticized PM Dr Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi. Its all created by media." However, she added, "Congress is creating a needless issue over renaming of a guest house which briefly served as the residence of late prime minister Indira Gandhi and later Marxist stalwart Jyoti Basu.”

The fire-brand leader also alleged that Congress had secretly joined hands with the Left leaders to settle scores with Trinamool Congress over her party’s tough stance on several key issues including the retail FDI and the Lokpal Bill.

A statement earlier issued by the Trinamool Congress also blamed Congress for unnecessarily politicising the issue.

`No effort has been made so far to give any honour to Nazrul Islam. When we have now taken the initiative, the Congress is trying to create a needless issue by protesting the move. It is highly unwarranted and we criticise it,` state Municipal Affairs Minister Firhad Hakim said at the state secretariat Writers` Buildings.
He also accused the political parties of being opportunist and thinking of minorities only during the elections.

`The parties remember minorities and iconic figures from the community only during the elections. Once the polls are over, they just forget them. But our government is unlike others and we want to honour Nazrul Islam for his contributions. We condemn any move by the parties to oppose this move,` Hakim added.

Congress activists last week protested the renaming move outside the state secretariat and demanding withdrawal of the decision. The Left Front also has slammed the decision.