PM Promises to Rebuild Vidyasagar Statue, Mamata Says ‘No Thanks’

PM Modi, speaking at a rally in UP’s Mau, pledged to install a grand statue of Vidyasagar at the same spot soon.

2 min read

The BJP-TMC row escalated further on Thursday, 16 May, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi joining state Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in ‘appropriating’ Bengali polymath Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar.

PM Modi, speaking at a rally in Uttar Pradesh’s Mau, blamed TMC workers for the ‘hooliganism’ at Amit Shah’s roadshow in Kolkata, and pledged to install a grand statue of Vidyasagar at the same spot soon.

“We saw hooliganism by TMC workers again during Bhai Amit Shah’s roadshow in Kolkata... they also vandalised Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar’s statue. We are committed to Vidyasagar’s vision and will install his grand statue at the same spot,” he said, as per ANI.

Mamata, meanwhile, hit back at PM Modi and turned down his offer to rebuild the statue saying, “why should we take their money, Bengal has enough.”

“BJP destroyed 200-year-old heritage of Bengal, those supporting the party will not be accepted by society,” she added, as per PTI.

“He should do sit ups for lying so much... Prove allegations otherwise we’ll drag you to jail,” Mamata said, addressing Modi.

She also said that the EC “is the brother of BJP.”

“Earlier, it (EC) was an impartial body... now. everyone in the country says EC has sold out to BJP,” she added, as per ANI.

The prime minister is scheduled to hold two rallies in West Bengal on Thursday, ahead of the EC’s ban on campaigning – that comes into effect at 10 pm.

TMC’s ‘DP Protest’

On Wednesday, Mamata and several top TMC leaders had changed their Facebook and Twitter display pictures (DP) with a photo of Vidyasagar, as a form of protest against the desecration of the bust of the noted reformer and key figure of the Bengal Renaissance.

Trinamool Congress’s official profile on Twitter and Facebook was also changed with a picture of Vidyasagar.

Launching a scathing attack on BJP President Amit Shah, Banerjee had said, "What does Amit Shah think of himself? Is he above everything? Is he god that no one can protest against him?"

Banerjee said this after supporters of the BJP and the TMC fought pitched battles on the streets of Kolkata during a roadshow by Shah.

A college named after Vidyasagar was ransacked and a bust of the 19th Century social reformer shattered, allegedly by BJP workers during the clashes.

The CPI(M) has also called for protest rallies against the incident.

(With inputs from PTI, ANI)

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