The ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) and the Forward Bloc in West Bengal today criticised the Centre's decision to observe January 23 as "Parakram Diwas" to commemorate the birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.
TMC leader Saugata Roy said, the announcement to observe the day as "Parakram Diwas" (day of valour) was not enough.
"January 23 should be announced as a national holiday. It is our long-standing demand. As he was a national leader and head of Azad Hind Fauj, these two aspects are not reflected through "Parakram Diwas". We had also demanded observance of the day as "Desh Prem Diwas" (patriotism day). It appears to be a stunt keeping in mind the upcoming assembly polls in the state, and not as a mark of respect to Netaji," he said.
Naren Chatterjee, state secretary of the Forward Bloc, the party formed by Netaji in 1939, said, "Instead of "Parakram Diwas", the day should be celebrated as "Desh Prem Diwas". The demand to observe January 23 as "Patriotism Day" was made by the Left Front when it was in power."
Prof Sugata Bose, who is Netaji's grandnephew, said, "It is a decision of the Centre. It is difficult to find a brave leader like Netaji in the world. He believed in unity and equality. It needs to be remembered that he was just not a fighter."
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will participate in the first "Parakram Diwas" programme in Kolkata on January 23 on Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose's 125th birth anniversary and inaugurate an exhibition on the grounds of National Library to mark the occasion.
Two hundred Patua artistes from West Bengal will make a painting on a 400-metre-long canvas depicting Netaji's life.
A 85-member high-level committee helmed by PM Modi has been formed to plan year-round programmes to mark the 125th birth anniversary of Netaji.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)