Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday said she had written to the Centre, asking it to declare Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s birth anniversary a national holiday. She had earlier raised the demand in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in November.
“I personally feel we have not done anything important for Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose after independence. I have written a letter to the Centre to declare January 23, the birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, a national holiday. It is my demand,” Banerjee told mediapersons.
The chief minister claimed Bose has been neglected for a long time, and criticised the Centre for not declassifying files related to the freedom fighter, who disappeared mysteriously in 1945.
“We have made public all files related to Netaji. The Centre had promised before coming to power that it would declassify documents on Netaji. But they have not done so, as a result of which the mystery hasn’t been solved. We believe it will be done this year,” she added.
Banerjee said West Bengal would observe “Desh Nayak Diwas [National Day of Heroes]” on January 23, and urged people to blow conch shells that day at 12.15 pm. A march, accompanied by a police band, will be organised from Shyambazar to Netaji statue.
“A tableau will also be displayed on the theme of Netaji’s life on January 26. I appeal to everyone in the country and NRIs to blow conch shells at 12.15 pm on January 23,” said the chief minister.
Following a meeting on the Netaji anniversary celebrations, Banerjee chaired a meeting to discuss the Gangasagar fair. She urged pilgrims not to head there amid the ongoing pandemic, and said she too would not visit the fair this year.
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