Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee — still smarting from the “Jai Shri Ram” slogans at the Netaji birth anniversary programme — launched a furious attack on the BJP today, accusing them of insulting all cultural icons of the state from Rabindranath Tagore to revolutionary Santhal leader Birsa Munda. Ahead of the coming elections, the Centre and the state had clashed even before the event was held. The Centre had declared the day “Parakram Diwas”, denying state requests to christen it the ‘Desh Nayak Diwas’.
“I went to their programme and some aggressive, fanatic traitors dared to tease me in front of the PM. They don’t know me. If you point a gun at me I will show you the armoury. But I don’t believe in politics by the gun,” the Chief Minister said at a programme today.
“You have insulted Netaji. You have named the birthplace of Tagore wrong. You have destroyed Vidyasagar’s statue. You garlanded a wrong statue thinking it was Birsa Munda,” she added, in a reference to the huge outsider-versus-insider debate raging in the state.
The Chief Minister was caught unawares at a programme on Saturday which was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Held outside the majestic Victoria Memorial, the programme meant to mark the birth anniversary of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose was marred by “Jai Shri Ram” chants when the Chief Minister rose to speak.
Ms Banerjee, known to get upset over the slogan, refused to continue with her speech, saying, “This is not a political programme. Government programmes should have some dignity. It is not fair to insult someone you have invited.”
Amid a flurry of jibes from the BJP over her reaction, the Chief Minister today said the BJP should be rechristened the ”Bharat Jalao Party” and advised rebels in her party to leave as soon as possible.