As Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled a grand statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose near India Gate here on Thursday, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee lambasted the Union government for not being “invited properly”. A fuming Mamata said, “I received a letter from an undersecretary stating PM will inaugurate the statue at 7 pm…you be there by 6 pm, am I their bonded servant?”
Mamata while addressing a party gathering in Kolkata also alleged that she was not allowed to meet Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina during her visit to India. “This is the first time I saw that the PM of Bangladesh came and wanted to meet me but was not allowed. I don’t know why they are so angry, they didn’t let me go to Chicago,” the CM added.
The BJP, however, hit back with party leader Amit Malviya claiming that Banerjee was making attempts to “sully” the occasion of the unveiling of statue. “Mamata is making puerile attempts to sully the solemn occasion,” he said. Malviya took to Twitter and said, “Mamata Banerjee is feeling bad that Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose’s statue is being installed in the heart of Delhi. She did nothing to honour his legacy and now that Prime Minister Modi has taken the historic decision, she is making puerile attempts to sully the solemn occasion.”
In the evening here, the Prime Minister unveiled the grand statue of Netaji which has been carved from a monolithic block of granite weighing 280 MT. After 26,000 man-hours of intense artistic endeavour, the granite monolith was chiselled to produce a statue weighing 65 MT. The statue is completely hand sculpted using traditional techniques and modern tools.
“The 28 feet tall towering statue of Netaji is one of the tallest, realistic, monolithic, handmade sculptures in India. The PM had on 21st January 2022 assured that a grand statue of Netaji made of granite will be installed at India Gate as a symbol of the nation’s indebtedness to him,” said an official statement.
A 100-feet-long truck with 140 wheels was specially designed for this monolithic granite stone to travel the 1,665 km from Khammam in Telangana to New Delhi.
The Prime Minister’s arrival at the canopy for the unveiling of the statue of Netaji heralded by traditional Manipuri Shankh Vadayam and Kerala’s traditional Panch Vadayam and Chanda. The unveiling of the statue of Netaji was accompanied by the tune of ‘Kadam Kadam Badhaye Jaa’, the traditional INA song.