Paint it Saffron: Kolkata's Millennium Park gets a make-over ahead of PM Modi's visit

Kolkata: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Kolkata on January 11 has been marred by controversy in the wake of nationwide protests against National Register of Citizenship (NRC) and Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). This includes the Trinamool Congress (TMC) among other political parties. PM Modi will inaugurate the interactive light and sound show of Howrah bridge at 7:00 pm on Saturday for which the Millennium Park ticket counter portion of the building was painted saffron on Thursday. Millennium Park on Strand Road overlooks the Howrah bridge.

However, soon after at night, the same portion was seen painted blue and white, which is the preferred colour of the TMC-led government in West Bengal. Several portions of the city including dividers and footpaths are coloured blue and white, including blue and white lights on lamp posts.

The Kolkata Port Trust (KoPT) is the custodian of the park and has not come out with a statement on the issue. The main purpose of PM Modi’s visit to Kolkata is the 150th year celebrations of KoPT which is to be held on Sunday at Netaji Indoor stadium.

While the TMC has not reacted to the change in colour at the park, the BJP too has not said anything. Special Protection Group (SPG) which is responsible for PM Modi’s security, arrived at the Park to look into arrangements after the incident. The cleaning process is going on at the park, a day before PM Modi’s arrival in the city. PM Modis then scheduled to visit Belur Math, the headquarters of Ramakrishna Mission as he idolizes Swami Paramahamsa and Swami Vivekakanda.

PM Modi will fly back to New Delhi on Sunday afternoon. SPG and other security forces are on high alert with protests on NRC and CAA slated by social and political groups on PM Modi’s arrival and visit to various parts of the city.