In an apparent reference to BJP leadership, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today said the leader of the country should follow the Gandhian principles and take every religion and community along with him.
Without naming any BJP leader, Ms Banerjee said the best tribute to Mahatma Gandhiji on his 150th birth anniversary would be to follow his principles of peace, non-violence and communal harmony.
"Not only us but the entire world has learnt from Gandhiji's principles of non-violence, satyagraha and peace. We(TMC) don't want to advise others, but we will just say that the leader of the country should be like Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and Mahatma Gandhi, who had led the nation by taking along with them all the communities, castes and people of all religion," Ms Banerjee said while addressing Mahatma Gandhi's sesquicentennial anniversary celebrations at Mayo Road.
A leader of the country should not divide the masses or unleash violence. "Gandhiji has taught us the principles of non-violence and peace. His ideals and struggle for independence has strengthened the idea of united and secular India," Ms Banerjee, who is a strident critic of BJP and is opposing implementation of the contentious National Register of Citizens proposed by it, said.
The chief minister offered her floral tribute to the Mahatma and listed various initiatives taken up by the West Bengal government to commemorate the leader's 150th birth anniversary.
Elaborating on Mahatma Gandhi's role, she said when the country was celebrating its Independence on August 15, 1947, he was in Kolkata to protest against communal riots that were taking place and had appealed for peace and harmony.
Earlier in the day, Ms Banerjee in a tweet paid homage to Mahatma Gandhi and said the historic Gandhi Bhavan, that has been renovated by the state government, will be inaugurated on the occasion.
"Homage to #MahatmaGandhi ji on his 150th birth anniversary. We will pay tribute to the Father of the Nation at his statue on Mayo Road, #Kolkata. To mark #GandhiJayanti, the historic Gandhi Bhavan in Beleghata, renovated by #Bangla Govt, will be inaugurated today," Banerjee had tweeted.
"The #Bangla Govt has taken up many other initiatives to celebrate #Gandhi150 anniversary, including setting up a university dedicated to #MahatmaGandhi ji in Purba Medinipur district," she said in another tweet.
Rare photographs capturing Mahatma Gandhi's 1947 stay at Beleghata area here and articles used by him during the over three-week period when he tried to douse communal passion, will be on display from Wednesday at the house that hosted him.
The Gandhi Bhavan, where the Mahatma had put up during his stay, has now been developed as a museum.