Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's announcement on Wednesday that the Trinamool Congress would celebrate Khela Hobe Divas on August 16th has been slammed by the BJP, which equated it
with the Muslim League's Direct Action Day, which began on that day in 1946.
Taking a dig at Ms Banerjee, Rajya Sabha MP Swapan Dasgupta pointed out that August 16 in 1946 was declared direct action day by the Muslim league and lead to severe riots in the city a series of events that came to be known as the Great Calcutta killings.
"Interesting @MamataOfficial has declared August 16 as "Khela hobe divas"," Mr Dasgupta tweeted even as Ms Banerjie was speaking.
Interesting @MamataOfficial has declared August 16 as "Khela hobe divas". It is the day the Muslim League launched its Direct Action Day & began the Great Calcutta Killings in 1946. In today's West Bengal, "Khela Hobe" has come to symbolise a wave of terror attacks on opponents.- Swapan Dasgupta (@swapan55) July 21, 2021
BJP spokesman in Kolkata Samik Bhattacharya also condemned the decision. Referring to the rights' body or NHRC report on post-poll violence in which BJP claims 42 party members have been killed, Mr Bhattacharya said, "we have seen enough khela ...or games. We don't want to see such things anymore."
At the election rallies, she would conclude by throwing a football to a party supporter and declaring Khela hobe.
On 16 August, Mamtaa Banerjee said, the Khela Hobe Divas would be held at multiple places.
Footballs made by the handicraft department of the state government will be handed over to various sports clubs poor children on the occasion, she said.
""Khela Divas", which will be marked by the distribution of footballs to needy children," she said.
Khela hobe, a Bengali phrase that means the game is on, became the battle cry just ahead of the 2021 assembly elections in which Trinamool Congress defeated the BJP.
It became particularly popular after Mamata Banerjee injured her foot on the 10th of March during her campaign at Nandigram and had to campaign for the rest of the election from a wheelchair.