West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday rejected Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s offer to install a new bust of social reformer Pandit Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar at the same spot where it was vandalised saying that Bengal has the money for it.
She said that it was BJP “hooligans” who had destroyed a heritage of the state by breaking the bust in the violence during BJP Amit Shah’s roadshow.
It is a matter of shame for Bengalis that the bust of Vidyasagar was vandalised, she said at a poll rally at Mandirbazar in support of Trinamool Lok Sabha candidate C M Jatua.
“Bengal does not seek alms from BJP. We have the money for a new bust of Vidyasagar, who was part of Bengal Renaissance. Don’t you (BJP) feel ashamed saying that Bengal has been reduced to a state of being a pauper”?
Banerjee was referring to a comment by Shah at a poll rally at Canning earlier this week in which he had said that under Banerjee government “sonar(golden) Bangla has become Kangal(pauper) Bangla”.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said his government was committed towards Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar’s vision and promised to install his grand statue at the same spot in Kolkata where it was vandalised by “TMC goondas”.
Lashing out at Mamata Banerjee, the prime minister said he was going for a rally in Dum Dum later in the day but was not sure if the West Bengal Chief Minister will allow his helicopter to land.
“We have been witnessing the attitude of didi for long and now the country is also seeing it. Dedicated to the vision of Ishwar Chand Vidyasagar, our government will install a panchdhatu (made up of five metals) statue at the very spot and give a reply to TMC goondas,” he said while addressing a poll rally here.
“The statue of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar was broken by TMC goondas during the road show of BJP President Amit Shah. Those involved in this act should be given strong punishment,” the prime minister said.
Kolkata witnessed wide-spread violence during BJP president Shah’s massive roadshow on Tuesday. A bust of 19th century Bengali icon Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar was vandalised during the violence.
Nine Lok Sabha seats in south Bengal will go to the polls in the last phase on May 19, 2019.