The star of the last Bengal budget before this year’s elections or vote-on-account statement for 2021-22 was easily Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose whose 125th birth anniversary year is being celebrated across the country.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee concluded her budget presentation with a Netaji quotation.
“One of Netaji’s immortal messages is my inspiration… While addressing his countrymen, he said, give me blood, I shall give you freedom… I (would) like to address the people of my state, ‘keep faith in me. I shall give you to unconditional and selfless service with utmost dedication,” Ms Banerjee declared.
Earlier, she announced Rs 100 crore to build a monument to the iconic freedom fighter.
“No befitting monument has ever been created in our state by any government in honour of the great leader Netaji. I am proposing to construct an Azad Hind monument in New Town on behalf of the people of Bengal,” Ms Banerjee said.
Her celebration of the legendary leader did not stop there.
“To commemorate Netaji’s Jai Hind slogan, we are proposing to construct one Jai Hind Bhawan in each district,” she said.
Across Bengal for instance, there are currently a series of Rabindra Bhawans built by the government to honour Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore. They have become a socio-cultural centre wherever they have come up.
The Jai Hind Bhawans, Ms Banerjee said, will motivate younger generation to build their life based on the inspiration from Netaji’s life.
Ms Banerjee is allocating Rs 100 crore to the project for the next financial year.
Another Rs 10 crore has been assigned to set up a Kolkata Police battalion in memory of Netaji. it will be called the Netaji battalion.
Ms Banerjee also recalled that Subhash Chandra Bose had proposed the national planning commission in the country which was recently replaced by NITI Aayog.
The state government will form the state planning commission and name it Netaji State Planning Commission, Ms Banerjee said, allocating Rs 5 crore for the project.
No budget is complete without a quotation from Tagore, however. Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had quoted him on her budget day. Ms Banerjee too ended her speech today with the recitation of one of his many poems.