Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has called an all-party meeting to discuss the proposed ‘Paschim Banga Divas’ on August 29, a well-placed source said on Wednesday.
The CM wants to hold a discussion with leaders of all political parties and take note of their views on the ‘Paschim Banga Divas’ before finalising anything in this regard, he said.
“The CM will be holding an all-party meeting on August 29 on Paschim Banga Divas. It will be held at the state secretariat. She wants to know the opinions of other political leaders on holding the statehood day on Poila Baishakh,” he told PTI.
A committee, constituted by the state assembly, earlier this week has unanimously chosen ‘Poila Boishakh’ (the first day of the Bengali calendar) as the ‘Paschim Banga Divas’.
The panel comprised West Bengal Assembly Deputy Speaker Asish Banerjee, Parliamentary Affairs minister Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay, Education minister Bratya Basu, Urban Development minister and Kolkata Mayor Firhad Hakim and others. Harvard University Professor Sugata Bose was an advisor to the committee.
The proposal of the committee has been sent to Banerjee for a final nod.
The panel has also proposed a ‘state song’ and sources said that Rabindranath Tagore’s ‘Banglar Mati Banglar Jol’ was on the top of the list for it.
The state is against observing June 20 as the statehood day and had opposed Governor Dr CV Ananda Bose in celebrating it at the Raj Bhavan.
On June 19, Banerjee had written to Bose expressing “shock” at his “unilateral” decision to commemorate the state’s foundation day on June 20 and requested him not to organise any such programme as it might hurt the sentiment of crores of people of West Bengal.
She pointed out that the pain and trauma of partition were such that people in the state have never commemorated any day as foundation day since India’s independence.
“I am stunned and shocked to know that you have decided to organise a programme on 20.06.2023, at Raj Bhavan commemorating what you have peculiarly chosen to describe as ‘the state foundation day’ of West Bengal. I would like to state that West Bengal was carved out of the undivided state of Bengal in 1947. Through a most painful and traumatic process. The process involved uprooting millions of people across the border and death and displacement of innumerable families,” she wrote.
She had also emphasised that West Bengal was not founded on any particular day, least of all on any 20th of June, but was formed through the famous Radcliffe Award.
The governor, despite the objections of Banerjee, went on to organise the state’s ‘Foundation Day’ programme at Raj Bhavan saying that the state government’s concern would be “treated with all seriousness”.