Modi to be in Bengal, Assam on January 23 in a pre-poll pitch


Aditi Tandon

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 21

In a pre-poll pitch by the ruling BJP, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be in West Bengal and Assam on January 23 to launch the 125th birth anniversary celebrations of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and to distribute land rights to Assam’s indigenous people.

In Kolkata, the PM will address the Parakram Diwas celebrations to commemorate Netaji’s 125th birth anniversary year which will see the government hold a host of celebrations.

On January 23, the PM will visit Jerenga Pathar in Sivasagar, Assam, to distribute 1.06 lakh land allotment certificates to indigenous people.

In West Bengal, the PM will preside over the inaugural function of the Parakram Diwas celebrations at Victoria Memorial in Kolkata.

To honour and remember Netaji’s indomitable spirit and selfless service to the nation, the Centre has decided to celebrate his birthday on January 23 every year as Parakram Diwas to inspire people of the country, especially the youth, to act with fortitude in the face of adversity as Netaji did, and to infuse in them a spirit of patriotic fervour.

The issue has assumed a political significance in Bengal with the ruling TMC planning its own function on January 23 as both parties struggle to appropriate Netaji’s legacy. CM Mamata Banerjee will lead a procession in Kolkata on the day, and has demanded that the day be declared a national holiday and Desh Prem Diwas.

A permanent exhibition and a Projection Mapping Show on Netaji will also be inaugurated by the PM on the occasion and a commemorative coin and postage stamp released.

A cultural programme ‘Amra Nuton Jouboneri Doot’, based on the theme of Netaji, will also be held.

Before this event, the Prime Minister will visit the National Library, Kolkata, where an International Conference ‘Re-visiting the Legacy of Netaji Subhas in the 21st century’ and an artists’ camp are being organised. The Prime Minister will interact with the artists and conference participants.

Earlier on January 23, the Prime Minister will distribute 1.06 lakh land pattas/allotment certificates in Sivasagar, Assam.

Taking into account an urgent need to protect the land rights of indigenous people of the state, the Assam government came out with a comprehensive new land policy with a renewed emphasis on protecting the land rights of the indigenous people.

“The issuance of patta/allotment certificates for indigenous people of Assam has been given highest priority in order to instill a sense of security amongst them,” a PMO statement said.

Assam had 5.75 lakh landless families in 2016. The present government has distributed 2.28 lakh land pattas/allotment certificates since May 2016. The ceremony on January 23 marks the next step in this process.


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