Kolkata: A The BJP on Saturday lauded the West Bengal government's decision to observe the death anniversary of Bharatiya Jana Sangh founder Syama Prasad Mookerjee, but accused the ruling Trinamool Congress of using Maoists to vandalise the leader's bust in March.
West Bengal Ministers Firhad Hakim and Sovandeb Chattopadhyay on Saturday attended a government programme before Mookerjee's bust at south Kolkata's Keoratala crematorium on the occasion of his 65th death anniversary and claimed there was "no politics" in paying respect to "a great son of Bengal and India".
Responding to it, BJP National Secretary Rahul Sinha told reporters here that "Trinamool used Maoists to vandalise the bust of Mookerjee and now they are trying to atone for the sin that they had committed. I think Trinamool took time to realise that Bengal is still a part of India because of Syama Prasad Mookerjee."
He was refering to the March 7 incident when the bust was vandalised by a group of Left radicals in protest against the pulling down of two statues of Russian communist revolutionary Lenin in Tripura, allegedly by the BJP-RSS activists.
Appreciating the Bengal government's decision, state BJP president Dilip Ghosh, however, said "it had come too late".
"I heard of the state government's decision to observe the death anniversary of Syama Prasad. This is a noble thought and good job. But it has come too late. However, it deserves to be praised and I appreciate the government's decision," he said after paying his respect to Mookerjee.
State Minister Hakim said the state government as also Trinamool have been paying their respects to him over the years.
"We had garlanded the bust of Mookerjee when BJP was not in the picture. Our party leaders have been paying respect to him over the years and we have been paying respect to great personalities of India," he said.
Asked whether there is any politics behind the government's decision, Chattopadhyay said: "There is no politics in paying respect to Mookerjee who is a great son of Bengal. This is our duty to pay honour to him."
The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM) saw the government's decision as yet another instance of the "collusion" between the Trinamool Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Updated Date: Jun 23, 2018 19:43:06 IST