Now, TMC suddenly remembers Syama Prasad Mookerjee on his death anniversary
Politics is all about making the most of any opportunity and every political party knows it to the best.
On Saturday, as BJP paid tribute on the death anniversary of veteran politician Syama Prasad Mookerjee, it was perhaps for the first time that TMC also paid homage to the leader.
The ruling party in the state has been known to hold its proximity to the minority in the state with Mamata Banerjee attending the grand Eid celebrations on Red Road, but remembering Syama Prasad Mookerjee was a rare one.
TMC paying tribute Mookerjee on his death anniversary has been creating quite a buzz in the political circles.
Minister of Urban Development and Municipal Affairs Firhad Hakim said, "We do not agree with the ideology of Syama Prasad. We want secular Bengal. Our ideology and Syama Prasad's ideology are not same. But he was a great human being, freedom fighter and a member of parliament from Bengal which we cannot deny it. We might not agree with someone's ideology, but that does not mean we won't pay respect or break his statue. We are following our ideology. Common people will decide who will come to power. We do not incite any kind of violence unlike the RSS and BJP. They only create violence. We believe in harmony and unity. We will form the India that Mahatma Gandhi dreamt of."
Syama Prasad Mookerjee, the founding president of Bharatiya Janata Party, had also been a Cabinet minister under the leadership of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. However, he is known for evolving a unique approach based on positive nationalism as opposed to the timid mindset of Nehruvian leadership.
The first minister of Commerce and Industry of India was arrested in Jammu Kashmir for his opposition of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution which provides autonomous powers to the state of Kashmir. Mookherjee believed this act to be a hindrance to national unity. He died as a detainee on 23rd June 1953.
On the occasion of the 65th death anniversary of the former finance minister of Bengal Province, political leaders paid homage to him. However, the tribute by TMC leaders prompted many politicians to take a dig at the ruling party.
SIGN OF REPENTANCE
Rahul Sinha, national secretary of Bharatiya Janata Party, said, "TMC attempted to break his statue through extremists. However, today they realised the act had been very sinful. So, it is a sign of repentance from them to pay respect to Syama Prasad Mookerjee. Today, after a long time, the ruling party of Mamata Banerjee realised the consequences. Anyway, she has paid tribute to Syama Prasad. We appreciate it. We need to give tribute to all the great people who lost their life fighting for our country."
However, TMC leader Firhad Hakim backing his party's stand, said, "I think that Rahul Sinha is somewhere confused, because this is the statue constructed by the government. Both of them are extremists. We do not believe in extremism. We believe in equality, we believe in respecting everyone. Rahul Sinha and his party do not go to pay respect to Maulana Azad. We are not like them, we believe in respecting everyone. We pay respect to Maulana Azad, Indira Gandhi and Syama Prasad as well. May be our ideology are not similar, but we do not disrespect anyone. That is the policy of TMC and Mamata Banerjee."
Meanwhile, BJP MP Roopa Ganguly too sees TMC gesture as an act of repentance.
Ganguly said, "It is probably a sign of repentance, but whatever it may be I, as a Bharatiya Janata Party activist, am happy to see people of West Bengal remembering him. Today, the reason we are sitting in the land of West Bengal is Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee. He stood straight and he fought for the division and he fought for this piece of land, where we are standing today. Dr Syama Prasad is very dear to our hearts. It is only BJP, but I suppose it should be the people of West Bengal as well. The whole country pays respect to him. Many members pay respect to Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee today. It is important that people pay respect to him. It was misplaced just before a few days. It is up to you if you want to respect or not, but at least don't disrespect anybody's sentiment."