Kolkata, Jan 23 (PTI) Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose's birthday on Monday witnessed political slugfest in West Bengal with BJP leaders claiming that only the party and Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave the nationalist leader his "due respect" and the Congress and CPI-M saying that it was done for "politcal gains".
Speaking after garlanding a statue of the freedom fighter on his 126th birth anniversary, senior Bengal BJP Suvendu Adhikari said Netaji was the main architect of the country's Independence.
"But no previous government gave him the status he deserves," Adhikari, who is the leader of the opposition in West Bengal, said.
"The BJP government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi are giving the rightful dignity and respect due to Netaji. The people of the country are seeing it," he said.
Dilip Ghosh, a BJP national vice-president, said other parties have used Netaji's name for "political gains".
"If anyone has given due respect to Netaji it is BJP. Who installed the statue in Delhi? It is Prime Minister Modi. He has given the rightful respect and brought Netaji and his ideology before the country's youth," Ghosh said.
Modi had inaugurated a statue of the leader aunder the Grand Canopy at the India Gate in the national capital in September 2022.
The Congress. to which Netaji belonged before he broke away due to ideological differences and formed the Forward Bloc, hit back saying "BJP is doing this (paying homage to Netaji) to win elections and cheat the people of the country".
Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said "BJP has no icon. So despite not believing in Netaji's ideology, it is paying homage to him for political gains," he said.
CPI-M leader Sujan Chakraborty also criticised BJP and RSS for "connecting their misguided idealogy with that of Netaji".
RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat is in the city and Union Home Minister Amit Shah is in Port Blair in Andaman and Nicobar Islands on the occasion of Netaji birth anniversary and participated in programes. Modi virtually unveiled the model of the proposed memorial dedicated to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose to be set up in Andaman and Nicobar Islands and formally name 21 uninhabited islands in A&N after Param Vir Chakra winners. PTI BSM KK KK KK