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Mamata govt distances itself from celebration of West Bengal Foundation Day at Raj Bhavan

IANS | June 20, 2024 04:40 PM

KOLKATA: West Bengal Foundation Day was observed at the Raj Bhavan here on Thursday with the state government machinery and the members of the state cabinet distancing themselves from the programme.

Raj Bhavan insiders said that the celebration of West Bengal Foundation Day, which started on June 20, 2023, lacked the pomp and grandeur that was there in the same programme last year.

Insiders said that June 20 has been chosen as West Bengal Foundation Day since on the same day of 1947, the then Bengal Legislative Assembly held a meeting to decide if the Bengal Presidency would stay with India or Pakistan, or be divided, having the Hindu majority districts staying with India as West Bengal and the Muslim majority areas forming East Pakistan.

However, the ruling Trinamool Congress has been against celebrating the day as it believes that this date historically signifies the pain of partition. Instead, the state government through a proposal passed on the floor of the state Assembly last year decided to choose Bengali New Year Day as the date for the celebration of the West Bengal Foundation Day.

“Last year only when the Governor started celebrating West Bengal Foundation Day on June 20, our Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee requested him against doing so. But he did not listen. We cannot stop him from doing so. But we are not participating, ” said a member of the state cabinet who did not wish to be named.

Commenting on the development, Leader of Opposition in West Bengal Assembly Suvendu Adhikari claimed that the historical significance of June 20 can never be changed or ignored.

“Last year the President of India announced June 20 as the West Bengal Foundation Day. Had Dr Shyamprasad Mukhopadhyay not been there we could not have stayed in Independent India. A party can enforce certain things because of its numerical supremacy in the Assembly. But that does not mean that the history can be changed, ” Adhikari said.

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