Kolkata, May 8 (PTI) A directive by the West Bengal Police asking its units to play a COVID-19 awareness song written by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Rabindranath Tagore's birth anniversary has sparked a furore in the state, with the BJP terming it an 'outright insulting' move.
The TMC, rubbishing the allegation, said the saffron party was trying to indulge in cheap politics over the matter.
The state's Additional Director General of Police (Law and order), in his directive, had asked all officers to organise a programme titled 'Kabi Pronam' at the districts and commissionerates on the occasion of Tagore's 159th birth anniversary.
'A small tableau be brought out with a cut-out of Tagore. A collection of selected Tagore songs are enclosed herewith along with the awareness song, written by Hon'ble CM Mamata Banerjee on Coronavirus.
'This should be played at important residential areas and housing complexes of cities and towns between 9 am and 11.30 am,' the order issued on May 6 said.
Reacting to the government order, the Bengal unit of the BJP sought to know what has the bards life and legacy got to do with the CMs song on Covid-19 awareness.
'Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore is the greatest icon whose teachings and wisdom guide the world. But what do Mamata Banerjee awareness songs have to do with celebrating Gurudevs life and legacy? It is not just an affront to Gurdev but also makes light of the fight against Corona!' BJP leader Mukul Roy, who was once a trusted aide of Banerjee, said.
The saffron party's Mahila Morcha president in the state, Locket Chatterjee, said the government was trying to 'impose the CM' on people.
'West Bengal Police issues an order to mandatorily play Mamata Banerjee songs at important residential areas and housing complexes of cities & towns on the occasion of Rabindra Jayanti,' Chatterjee tweeted.
'Instead of commemorating Gurudev, WB govt is imposing CM on people! This is outright insulting!' she added.
The Trinamool Congress, however, refuted the charge and accused BJP of indulging in 'cheap and dirty' politics on the occasion of bard's birth anniversary.
'The chief minister had tried to use the occasion to spread awareness about COVID-19. But the BJP is using it to play dirty politics. We condemn such an attempt by the saffron camp,' a senior TMC leader said. PTI PNT RMS RMS