Kolkata, Oct 24 (IANS) The West Bengal government on Wednesday accused the Modi government of demeaning contribution of national leaders “by dragging them into politics” in the wake of a UGC directive for celebrating Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s birth anniversary as Rashtriya Ekta Diwas on October 31.
“To create a new political structure, BJP is tarnishing the contribution of national leaders by dragging them into politics,” state Education Minister Partha Chatterjee said about the University Grants Commission (UGC)notification issued on October 22.
Criticising the Central government’s move of not holding prior discussions with the state, Chatterjee said: “Centre has not approached us. The ministry of human resource development (MHRD) or UGC is taking most of the decisions by keeping the state government in the dark. Hence, we will not abide by their directives”.
The UGC has recommended the universities and affiliated colleges to organise competitions, quizzes and debates on relevant topics to celebrate the birth anniversary of independent India’s first deputy prime minister and home minister.
A ‘Run for Unity’ can be organised to spread the message of unity, the UGC said. Also, institutes where National Cadet Corps (NCC) exists, have been requested to invite Army officers or ex-army officers to deliver a motivational lecture.
Chatterjee said he would would have given a thought and held discussions regarding the directives with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had UGC informed the state government in advance.
Defending the Centre’s move, BJP state President Dilip Ghosh said: “Government thinks it to be its duty to uphold the contribution of all the leaders before the students. If people think we are doing politics by celebrating someone’s birth anniversary, they need to change their thought.”