Tuesday, Sep 17, 2019 | Last Update : 03:38 AM IST

Mamata Banerjee flatly rejects PM’s statue offer

THE ASIAN AGE. | RAJIB CHOWDHURI
Published : May 17, 2019, 3:19 am IST
Updated : May 17, 2019, 6:42 am IST

Ms Banerjee held the BJP responsible for its role behind the Election Commission’s advancing the campaign deadline for the last phase of the polls.

Trinamul Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee
 Trinamul Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee

Kolkata: Within few hours of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement in Uttar Pradesh on Thursday that he would rebuild the bust of Bengali polymath Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar at Kolkata’s Vidyasagar College, Trinamul Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee clearly rejected his offer, calling it “alms” that West Bengal would never beg him for. She not only made it clear that the state would rebuild the bust, but also dared him to prove his allegation that her party had been the one to vandalise the icon’s bust, along with evidence.

Threatening to “drag” Mr Modi to jail if he fails to substantiate his claim, the West Bengal chief minister directed him to “do sit-ups holding his ears” for lying “one lakh times”. On the last day of the poll campaign in the state at Mandir Bazar in Mathurapur of South 24 Paraganas, for the last phase of the Lok Sabha election, she alleged: “This PM is such a liar that he has no shame. He has announced in Uttar Pradesh of rebuilding a new one. We are not bothered to accept it from you anyway. Bengal does not beg you for alms.”

Ms Banerjee told Mr Modi: “Come! Bengal has money to rebuild a statue of Vidyasagar. Can he restore the heritage of 200 years? Can life be returned if lost? You destroyed the heritage of 200 years. We have all the videos. You are claiming that the Trinamul has done it! Don’t you feel ashamed? This PM should do sit-ups with hands on his ears for lying one lakh times. Either you prove it or else we will drag you to jail because we do not fall in those category of people who will spare you.”

She underlined: “We have the documents as evidence. The documents will speak for themselves. The law will take its own course. How dare you to talk of rebuilding? Just rebuilding Ambedkar’s statue cannot compensate for vandalism. Same applies in the case of Mahatma Gandhi, Rabindranath Tagore, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad and Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.” Ms Banerjee held the BJP responsible for its role behind the Election Commission’s advancing the campaign deadline for the last phase of the polls.

She said: “Some mischievous and dangerous persons have taken control of all rights of the country. They are killing anyone, looting rights of the people, unleashing atrocities on the minority and SC/ST communities and demolishing B.R. Ambedkar’s statue in Meerut. After the elections in Tripura, all the statues were pulled down. This is the habit of the BJP. What happened two days earlier here is a shame for Bengal.”

Trying to encash the popular Bengali sentiment over Vidyasagar for votes, the Trinamul chief added: “In the coming days, revenge has to be taken for the way BJP workers led by Amit Shah vandalised the statue of our father of wisdom Vidyasagar at Vidyasagar College. No one will be spared if our luminaries are dishonoured.”

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Tags: mamata banerjee, ishwar chandra vidyasagar, narendra modi