Kolkata: With BJP pulling out all stops to ensure victory in the state assembly polls next year, Trinamool Congress (TMC) is leaving no stone unturned to counter every move by the saffron party.
On a day when Union Home Minister Amit Shah was accorded a hearty welcome at Visva Bharati University in Bolpur, the ruling TMC accused the BJP of insulting Rabindranath Tagore by printing his photo below than of Shah in banners and posters.
After students of the central university, that was set up by Nobel laureate Tagore, welcomed Shah with a cultural performance on Sunday afternoon, senior TMC leaders Sudip Bandhopadhyay and Sashi Panja staged a demonstration at Jorasanko – the ancestral home of Tagore — and claimed that the ‘outsiders’ don’t even know the real value of Tagore.
Shah sought to strike a chord with the local people. “I firmly believe that the Nobel prize did not acknowledge Tagore’s works. The Nobel prize found its own acknowledgement by honouring Tagore… It was an honour to visit the rooms where Gurudev Rabindranath and Mahatma Gandhi had lived,” Shah said.
After being treated to Rabindrasangeet, the home minister listened with rapt attention as Basudeb Das Baul and his family sang a popular folk song ‘tomay hrid majhare rakhbo’ (will keep you in our hearts) with ‘ektara’ (one-stringed musical instrument). Shah also offered puja at the Shiva temple.
Taking a potshot at BJP, West Bengal Panchayat Minister Subrata Mukherjee alleged that their poster belittled the stature of Tagore.
“Let the people of Bengal know that those who are ignorant of Rabindranath have come to occupy Bengal. It is a shame that those who are trying to form the government in this state don’t know anything about Bengal and Bengali culture and are trying to wipe off the history of the country,” Mukherjee quipped.
Flex hoardings, with the image of Shah on top, Tagore in the middle and another BJP leader Anupam Hazra underneath, were seen in parts of Shantiniketan ahead of Shah’s visit to Visva Bharati and a roadshow in Bolpur.
Shah continued his tirade against the ruling dispensation by remarking that the people of West Bengal are angry with Mamata Banerjee and want a change.
“I haven’t seen a roadshow like this in my life. This roadshow shows love and trust of people of Bengal towards PM Narendra Modi. People of Bengal want change. This roadshow shows the anger of the Bengal public towards Mamata didi’s violent politics and extortion,” said Shah.