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Faced with 'Jai Shri Ram' slogans, Mamata refuses to speak at Netaji event

PM Modi, Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar were present on the stage

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at an event to honour Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose on his 124th birth anniversary in Kolkata | Salil Bera Prime Minister Narendra Modi and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at an event to honour Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose on his 124th birth anniversary in Kolkata | Salil Bera

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday refused to speak at an event to honour Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose on his 124th birth anniversary after she was faced with 'Jai Shri Ram' slogans in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar was also present at the event held at Victoria Memorial in Kolkata.

The chief minister had hardly started her speech when a group of people from the audience raised the slogans.

"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," a visibly angry Banerjee said while refusing to go ahead with her speech.

Both the Trinamool Congress and the BJP have been making all-out efforts to claim the legacy of the freedom fighter ahead of the Assembly elections in the state. While the West Bengal government is celebrating Netaji's birth anniversary as 'Deshnayak Diwas', the Centre is celebrating it as 'Parakram Diwas'.

Earlier, after participating in a grand procession to pay tribute to Netaji, Banerjee slammed the Centre for its decision to observe January 23 as 'Parakram Diwas' and said the Modi government did not consult with her before announcing it.

"What is the meaning of 'Parakram'? They may dislike me politically but could have consulted with me. They could have consulted with Netaji's great-grandsons Sugata Bose or Sumantra Bose on choosing a word," she had said.

"Who has given the name 'Parakram'? We are celebrating the day as 'Deshnayak Diwas' here because it has a history. Rabindranath Tagore had described Netaji as 'Deshnayak'. That is why we have today used the name to link the two legends of Bengal," Banerjee had further said.

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