Union Minister Subhas Sarkar on Saturday alleged that he was “not allowed” by the West Bengal government to hoist the national flag at a correctional home in Paschim Medinipur district as part of the Centre’s ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ and ‘Har ghar tiranga’ initiatives.
He claimed that the state officials were initiated about his visit to the Midnapore Central Correctional Home but he found “no arrangements were made to hoist the tricolour” there.
“When I stepped into the premises, I found no arrangements were made to hoist the national flag. It shows the West Bengal government’s apathy and indifference towards the sacrifice of our heroes,” he told reporters outside the jail compound.
Sarkar, the union minister of state for education, said he would not blame the correctional home authorities as they “followed the directives of the state government and there was apparently no communication about the August 13 programme”.
“Despite all official communication, including my telephonic talk with the chief secretary, I was not given permission to celebrate the event and pay my tributes to the martyrs of West Bengal at the Midnapore Central Jail (Midnapore Central Correctional Home),” he posted on his official Facebook page.
‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ and ‘Har ghar tiranga’ initiatives have been taken by the Centre to celebrate 75 years of Independence.
Responding to Sarkar’s comments, TMC spokesperson Sukhendu Sekhar Roy said “nothing could be more ridiculous than such a statement on his part.”
The TMC’s Rajya Sabha MP claimed that Sarkar created the controversy to show the state government in poor light as “everywhere in the state, arrangements are made to hoist the tricolour”.
“We should not learn about patriotism or how to show respect to the country’s freedom fighters from the BJP,” he added.
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