In a rare show of political statesmanship,Bengal chief minister,Mamata Banerjee invited an insistent Forward Bloc party general secretary,Ashok Ghosh and other Left leaders to garland the statue of Netaji Subash Chandra Bose first.
As per convention the chief minister garlands the statue of Netaji first followed by the council of ministers and opposition leaders to observe the day as Deshapran Diwas.
The state government had earlier urged the Left leaders to pay tribute to Netaji Subhas Bose after the government programme was over. But Left leaders said yesterday that they would stand in the queue until they are allowed to pay tribute to Netaji.
Significantly,this morning the Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee changed her schedule and asked the government officials to allow the Left Front senior leaders to pay tribute to Netaji first.
Accordingly,at 12.15 pm,veteran Forward Bloc leader Ashok Ghoshs name was announced to pay tribute to Netaji,followed by Biman Bose. The Chief Minister paid tribute to the national hero only at the end of the programme.
Earlier in the day,the name of Left leader Ashok Ghosh did not figure in the list for garlanding the statue of Netaji. Ghosh is incidentally the chairman of central Netaji Janmotsav Committee . The matter also came up at the Left Front meeting on Saturday. It was decided therefore that the Left leaders would go to the venue and garland Netajis statue after the chief minister followed by her council of ministers did so. There were mixed reactions about Mamata Banerjee s gesture .
There was ample show of what many called the politics of decency with Biman Bose and other left leaders exchanging namaskars and Ashok Ghosh blessing Mamata Banerjee.
But the mood turned sour in the afternoon when at another programme at Netaji Bhavan,the Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee launched a scathing attack on the Left,particularly the CPM saying that they have become patriotic and showing respects to Netaji.