New Delhi: The BJP and the TMC locked horns on Saturday in Kolkata after West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee declined to speak at an official programme to celebrate Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s 125th birth anniversary after ‘Jai Shri Ram’  slogans were raised from the audience in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. While refusing to address the event, Mamata said such “insult” was unacceptable. Also Read - PM Modi Discusses Production Linked Incentive Scheme With India Inc | Key Points

“This is a government programme and not a political programme. There has to be dignity. It doesn’t behove anybody to invite people and insult. I won’t speak. Jai Bangla, Jai Hind,” she said, wrapping up. Also Read - West Bengal Election 2021: BJP Likely to Field Babul Supriyo Against CM Mamata From Bhowanipore

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Reacting to her response at the event, the BJP claimed that Banerjee’s reaction reflects her mindset of appeasement politics, while the ruling Trinamool Congress said no one can teach lumpens to be dignified.

However, the Congress came out in support of the West Bengal Chief Minister saying that raising slogans in this way is an insult to the chief minister, as the CPI(M) described the incident as “disgraceful to the state”.

Jai Shri Ram slogan

Soon after it was announced that Mamata Banerjee will address the programme, “Jai Shri Ram” slogans were raised by a section of the audience at the lawn of Victoria Memorial Hall where the event was being held.

Sharply reacting to the action of the audience, TMC’s chief spokesperson Derek O’ Brien said that no one can teach dignity. “Dignity (noun) The state or quality of being worthy of honour and respect. You cant teach dignity. Nor can you teach lumpens to be dignified. Here is a one-min video of what exactly happened today. Including the dignified response by @MamataOfficial,” he said in a tweet, sharing the video clip.

The BJP leadership, however, saw nothing wrong with the “Jai Shri Ram” slogans. “None of the dignitaries said anything. Why did she lose her cool? It reflects her mindset of appeasement politics. (She) appeases a particular community before elections,” BJP national general secretary and Bengal-minder Kailash Vijayvargiya told PTI.

On the other hand, the saffron party’s state unit chief Dilip Ghosh said “Jai Shri Ram” is not a political slogan. “Why does she losses her cool every time someone raises this slogan? She should not have reacted like this. People raise this slogan because she reacts like this,” Ghosh said.

BJP leader and grandnephew of Netaji, Chandra Kumar Bose, said there is nothing wrong with the slogan and Netaji’s birth anniversary should not be mixed with politics.

Issuing a statement, state Congress president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said that some people insulted the chief minister of West Bengal by raising the slogan when she stood up to address the programme.

“By raising Jai Sri Ram slogan in a government function, they have not only insulted her, but also the CM of the state, deliberately. They have also insulted a woman in public. I may be her political rival but I strongly condemn it,” Chowdhury, also the Leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha said.

What PM Modi said?

Addressing the event, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose would have been proud to see that the country has become strong and is following his footsteps from the LoC to the LAC.

PM Modi also said that Netaji is the biggest source of inspiration for the dream of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ (Self-reliant India) and ‘Sonar Bangla’ (Golden Bengal). “I sometimes wonder how Netaji would have felt had he seen how a new and strong India is taking shape,” he said at a programme at the Victoria Memorial Hall.

Hailing Netaji as the embodiment of India’s power and inspiration, Modi said that the country has decided to celebrate the freedom fighter’s birth anniversary as ‘Parakram Diwas’ to honour his indomitable spirit and selfless service to the nation.