Forward Bloc confronts Mamata on Netaji's monument

Kolkata, Jan 23 (IANS) The Forward Bloc, a party founded by Subhas Chandra Bose, Wednesday lashed out at West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for shifting the venue of Netaji's 116th birth anniversary celebrations and her decision to establish a monument in his name.

Hours after Banerjee announced her government would build a monument to honour Netaji, Forward Bloc Bengal unit general secretary Ashok Ghosh firmly opposed the move.

"We had earlier also heard such things form earlier regimes, when former chief minister B.C. Roy wanted to erect a monument in Netaji's memory. He called our party leader Hemanta Basu and expressed the wish. But Basu opposed the move because there was no evidence or proof that Netaji has died," Ghosh told mediapersons.

"Our party's position remains the same," he said.

Earlier, speaking at the 116th birth anniversary celebrations of the revolutionary leader at the Netaji Research Bureau, Banerjee said: "Netaji had about four or five cottas of land at Kodalia (in South 24 Parganas district). We will set up the monument in Netaji's name on that land".

The Foward Bloc also took exception to Banerjee changing the venue of Netaji's birth anniversary celebrations from his statue in the city hub Maidan area to the Netaji Bhavan in South Kolkata'a Elgin Road.

"Why did she change the venue? The state government was paying its respects to Netaji at the maidan all these years. Now suddenly the chief minister decided to change the venue. Why did she decide not to attend the programme? This is an insult to Netaji," said Forward Bloc leader Hafiz Alam Sairani. Wednesday was Netaji's 116th birth anniversary.

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