At Trinamool office, Didi photograph replaces Netajiís

A black and white portrait of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose hung on a wall of a Trinamool Congress office in south Kolkata's Topsia area on January 6, the day it was inaugurated by party MP Sudip Bandyopadhyay. A day later, the green wall had a colour photograph of a smiling Mamata Banerjee, the party chief.

Party workers said it was Fire Minister Javed Khan who during his visit to the office on the day of the inauguration noted that Netaji's portrait and Didi's photograph was not on the wall facing the main entry to the office.

"Khan asked us to remove the picture of Netaji and replace it with Mamata's. It was done the very next day," said a party worker on condition of anonymity.

According to the worker, they removed the remaining two photographs from the same wall "to be on the safe side". "The other two photographs were of Bhagat Singh and Lal Bahadur Shastri. Both are no more alive. So we removed their photographs since we did not want Didi's photo on the same wall with those who have passed away," the party worker added.

Till now, the local workers have not been able to figure out where to place Netaji's photo. Khan, meanwhile, said he never ordered the party workers to replace the photograph. "I never asked anyone to do such a thing. You media people are trying to give me a bad name," he said.

However, a host of Congress leaders slammed the Trinamool party for insulting Netaji. "It shows to what level has the Trinamool fallen in terms of ignorance and lack of education. Replacing Netaji's picture with Mamata shows there is a severe lack of patriotic feeling in the party," said state Congress chief Pradeep Bhattacharya. Congress MP Adhir Chowdhury was more critical. "They have no feelings for the country or its heroes. They only indulge in personality cult. It is shameful," he said.

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