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Chief minister Mamata Banerjee calls for an all-party meeting on August 29 for Bengal Diwas

Arkamoy Datta Majumdar Calcutta Published 24.08.23, 06:30 AM
Mamata Banerjee

Mamata Banerjee File picture

Chief minister Mamata Banerjee has called for an all-party meeting on August 29 to invite opinions on the proposed Bangla Diwas before her party places a resolution in this regard before the Assembly.

The meeting is scheduled to take place at the Nabanna Sabhaghar, an auditorium adjacent to the state secretariat.


"The chief minister had set up a committee to discuss this issue (to identify a date as Bangla Diwas). We had deliberated and submitted a report to her. Now whether this date will be finalised or there can be an alternative will be discussed at the all-party meeting...," Sobhandeb Chatterjee, the parliamentary affairs minister of the state, said on Wednesday.

"It is important to take note of the views of the public representatives.... This is nobody's personal affair. If a special day for the state is fixed it should reflect the passion and culture of our people, which is why a consensus is important," he added.

The committee formed to identify the day to celebrate the state includes Chatterjee and his cabinet colleagues Firhad Hakim, Bratya Basu, Speaker Biman Banerjee, and his deputy Asish Banerjee. Historian and former MP Sugata Bose acted as an adviser to the committee.

On Monday, the committee submitted its report to the Speaker. Sources said it identified Poila Baisakh as the proposed Bangla Diwas. It was also suggested that a song be identified as the state anthem, and sources said "Banglar mati, Banglar jol (Bengal's soil, Bengal's water)", which Rabindranath Tagore composed in 1905, was a frontrunner.

The exercise is deemed as an effort on Mamata's part to counter the saffron camp's bid to establish June 20 as the state's foundation day. The Bengal Assembly on June 20, 1947, passed a resolution to divide the Bengal province.

Since identifying Poila Baisakh does not suit the BJP, it is likely that the latter would give the all-party meeting a skip. The Bengal BJP chief spokesperson Samik Bhattacharya said the proposal was an "absurd, non-historic, and shameless attempt to erase history".

Other parties such as the CPM are likely to participate. However, Sujan Chakraborty, a central committee member of the party, alleged the chief minister was trying to appease the RSS by "playing the Bengal Diwas card".

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