Prime Minister Narendra Modi may visit poll-bound West Bengal on January 23 to celebrate Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s 125th birth anniversary.
Experts feel Modi’s visit ahead of the crucial Assembly polls, scheduled to be held in May, will certainly boost the BJP’s campaign in the state.
On December 21, the Central government decided to constitute a committee, headed by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, to commemorate Bose’s 125th birth anniversary in India and abroad. The committee will meet and decide on a one-year long programme to mark the occasion.
The committee will have members from Bose’s family as well as eminent persons associated with Azad Hind Fauj and historians.
The year-long celebrations will be inaugurated on January 23 by Modi in Bengal. It is yet to be decided whether he will address any political meeting during this visit.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, Modi noted that Netaji had unfurled the Tricolour in Port Blair on this day in 1943 and that the day was etched in the memory of every Indian.
"30th December 1943...a day etched in the memory of every Indian, when the brave Netaji Subhas Bose unfurled the Tricolour at Port Blair. To mark the 75th anniversary of this special day, I had gone to Port Blair and had the honour of hoisting the Tricolour. Sharing some memories," Modi tweeted.
He posted pictures of his visit to the island in 2018. Bose had arrived in Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands in 1943 after Japan handed them over to his Azad Hind government. Japan had captured the islands during the Second World War.
At a time when the ruling Trinamool Congress, led by Mamata Banerjee, has been taking on the BJP as an "outsider" in the state, the Modi government's initiatives seemed to be aimed at creating a connection with the Bengali voter ahead of the crucial Assembly elections that the BJP is desperate to win.
Recently, Modi had reminded people about Rabindranath Tagore’s Gujarat connection. While addressing the centenary celebrations of Visva Bharati University through video conferencing, Modi said, “Whenever I speak about Rabindranath Tagore, I could not stop myself from sharing again about Tagore’s Gujarat connection. Last time, also I mentioned this when I visited Visva Bharati. Today, once again I would like to remind all of us about Gurudev (Rabindranath Tagore) and Gujarat’s ‘aatmeeyata’ (affinity). We should remember this again and again because it teaches about ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’”.
“Gurudev’s elder brother Satyendranath Tagore was posted in Ahmedabad as an Indian Civil Service (ICS) officer. At the time, Rabindranath Tagore used to visit Gujarat frequently and he spent a long time in Gujarat. During his stay in Ahmedabad, he wrote two popular Bangla poems including ‘Bandi O Amar’ and 'Nelav Rajni Dekho’. He also wrote a part of his famous play ‘Kshudista Pashan’ in Gujarat,” he said.
“Not only this, ‘a daughter of Gujarat’, also became the daughter-in-law in Tagore’s family,” he added.