West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday registered her protest by refusing to speak at an event organised by the central government to commemorate the birth anniversary of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. The event, which was held in the lawns of Kolkata’s Victoria Memorial, took a dramatic turn after BJP supporters began to heckle Banerjee with Jai Shri Ram chants.
Angered by the taunts from the BJP supporters in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s presence, Banerjee stunned everyone by registering her public protest as she refused to speak. She said, “I fell that there has to be dignity for a government programme. This is a government programme and not a political programme. I am grateful to the prime minister and the culture ministry that you organised this programme in Kolkata. It doesn’t behove you to invite people and then insult. As a mark of protest, I wouldn’t speak. Jai Bangla, Jai Hind.”
Bengal goes to polls in May this year with the BJP making desperate attempts to oust Banerjee’s government. Banerjee’s colleague and Rajya Sabha MP, Derek O’Brien, took to Twitter to write, “dignity (noun) The state or quality of being worthy of honour and respect. You can’t teach ‘dignity’. Nor can you teach lumpens to be dignified. Here is a one-min video of what exactly happened today. Including the dignified response by @MamataOfficial.”
dignity (noun) The state or quality of being worthy of honour and respect.
You can’t teach ‘dignity’. Nor can you teach lumpens to be dignified.
— Derek O’Brien | ডেরেক ও’ব্রায়েন (@derekobrienmp) January 23, 2021
Even as Banerjee registered her protest, the camera turned to Modi, but he did not choose to address the taunts hurled at an elected chief minister by his supporters in his presence.