Not invited to centenary celebrations of Visva Bharati : Mamata

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Kolkata, Dec 24 (PTI) West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday said she was not invited to the centenary celebrations of Visva Bharati by the authorities of the central university.

Adressing a press meet here, Banerjee said that those who are currently at the helm of the university are not integral to carrying forward Tagores legacy and none of them can unsettle the 100-year-old institutes glorious tradition.

'No, I can't recall having received any invitation to the function. I, however, posted on Twitter that Visva Bharati evokes a sense of pride having completed 100 years of establishment,' she said.

'Yesterday they (Visva Bharati authorities) sent me a message requesting me to give them some time during my visit to Bolpur on December 28 and 29. I told them I have five-six programmes lined up during my one and half-day visit. But no, they didn't invite me to the centenary function today,' she asserted.

The chief minister when asked to comment on a controversy doing the rounds over Nobel laureate Amartya Sens age-old property at Santiniketan, said He is being subjected to vicious attacks because of his anti-BJP stance'.

According to several media reports, the varsity authorities have claimed that Sen had been illegally occupying a plot at Santiniketan where his house Pratichi stands.

'I have immense respect for Amartya da. Do you believe Amartya Sen can occupy land? I offer my apology to Amartya da on behalf of Bengal,' Banerjee said.

Claiming that BJP leaders have verbally abused her on many occasions, the TMC supremo said, 'They (BJP) think they can insult the luminaries of Bengal like Sen just as they have been insulting me. They are wrong. People of the state won't accept this.' Banerjee said she will protest against the insult meted out to Sen during her rally at neighbouring Bolpur on December 29 and urged the intellectuals in the state to also do the same.

'I want to know why the heritage Poush Mela could not be organised this year with COVID-19 protocols in place. Who is behind this?' she added.

Alleging that BJP is 'changing history,' she said 'One of the party's leaders has said that Rabindranath Tagore was born in Santiniketan having no idea that the bard was born at Jorasanko in Kolkata and founded Viswa Bharati many years later. BJP is changing history and geography.' PTI SUS KK KK KK