West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday lashed out at the Centre for not declaring January 23, the birth anniversary of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, as a national holiday.
“It is sad that the central government has still not announced Netaji’s birth anniversary as a national holiday. The Bengal government has declared it as a state holiday,” Banerjee said. She was speaking at the Subhas Utsav being celebrated in Darjeeling.
“Every year since 2014, on January 23, the state government is celebrating the birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose in Darjeeling. Netaji had stayed for some time in Darjeeling. In 1936, Netaji had led the freedom struggle from Kurseong. That is why we decided to celebrate his birth anniversary here in the form of a festival named Subhas Utsav,” she said. “The state government has allocated Rs 10 lakh for the renovation of the house in Darjeeling where Netaji had stayed. The government has also declassified the secret files that it had," she added.
Banerjee further took a dig at the Centre alleging that they have failed to find out facts relating to his disappearance.
"We are aware of the birth date of Netaji but still do not know whether he is alive or not. We do not know details behind his disappearance. It is a shame that we do not have these details and his disappearance continues to remain a mystery. Even so many years after independence, these facts are not known. Where is he, how is he doing and whether he is still alive or not should have been found out by the central government,” Banerjee said.
Without directly naming the BJP, she said that the ruling party at the Centre was trying to create a divide among the people of the country. “The one who can take everybody along, who can give his life for the country is the one who is fit to lead the country. The one who is intent on breaking the nation up into pieces, creating divisions among its people can never lead it,” she said.