By Shiv Sahay Singh
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday questioned why India should have only one capital at Delhi and suggested that there should be four rotating capitals in different parts of the country. The Chief Minister made the proposal while addressing a gathering after participating in a road show to mark the 125th birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.
“Why shouldn’t Kolkata be the capital of the country — I am saying this because of our contribution to the freedom struggle… I will again urge the Centre that India should have four capitals — one in south, one in north, one in east and in northeastern… And Sudip-da (Leader of the Trinamool Congress in Lok Sabha Sudip Banerjee) you should demand that Parliament sessions be held in a rotating manner in each of the four places,” Ms. Banerjee said.
The Chief Minister said, “We are not parochial — we are saying it for everyone”, asking why a capital should not come up in the south at Tamil Nadu, Kerala or Karnataka, in the north at Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Rajasthan and similarly in the east in Kolkata.
Ms. Banerjee also called for a change in attitude towards the States. Quoting the BJP’s oft repeated slogans, she said, “The attitude needs to be changed… One leader, one nation, one ration card, … One political party, one nation …what is the valuation (sic)?”
Annoyed at slogans
Later in the day while participating at another event to honour Netaji at the Victoria Memorial along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Chief Minister expressed her annoyance to slogans being raised at the venue. Among the slogans were cries of “Jai Shri Ram!”
“I think government programmes should have a dignity. It is not a programme organised by a political party… I am thankful to the Prime Minister and Ministry of Culture for holding the event here in Kolkata,” the Chief Minister said.
However, she went on to say that “disrespecting someone by inviting them to an event” does not speak well of the organizers, adding that in protest, she would not address the gathering. The Chief Minister then ended her speech abruptly with, “Jai Hind! Joy Bangla!”
Ms Bannerjee, however, attended the entire programme that continued almost an hour after the incident.
The development evoked strong reactions from both the BJP and the Trinamool Congress. ( The Hindu )