KOLKATA: West Bengal has refused to comply with a UGC directive to celebrate September 29 as ‘Surgical Strike Day’ in educational institutes and said that the day would not be celebrated in the state.
Criticising the move as “BJP’s political agenda” to “malign the Army”, Education Minister Partha Chatterjee said: “We would have understood it had they asked us to observe the day in the name of sacrifices made by our soldiers. We have full respect for our soldiers and their sacrifices. The Indian Army has always been kept above politics and controversies. But now we are seeing that the BJP is trying to malign and politicise the Indian Army. This is not right and we won’t support it.”
Reacting to the West Bengal government’s response, state BJP president Dilip Ghosh said that the TMC government had earlier opposed UGC guidelines.
In New Delhi, senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal on Friday asked whether the University Grants Commission would “dare” to celebrate November 8, the day when demonetisation was announced in 2016, as ‘surgical strike day’.