KOLKATA: The Union Cabinet has approved the decision of renaming Kolkata port as Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port which was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his Kolkata visit on the occasion of the 150-year celebration of Kolkata Port Trust in last January. Mookerjee was the founder president of Bharatiya Jana Sangh which later became BJP.
While announcing the new name of Kolkata port in the programme in Kolkata on January 12, Modi had said, "It is a significant day for Bengal and those connected with the Kolkata Port Trust. It is a historic port that saw India’s freedom and has been a witness to India’s progress. It will be called Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port."
Mookerjee was independent India’s first minister of Industry and Supply and known to be a harsh critic of the Congress party. Mookerjee, who led the Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha from 1943 to 1946 as its president, opposed Article 370 and expressed his displeasure at special status for Jammu and Kashmir. Mookerjee was arrested by Jammu and Kashmir police and died in custody in 1953.
Shortly after Modi announced the renaming of Kolkata port, trade unions at the port protested saying the move will hurt the history of the organisation. A mass signature campaign from the employees of the riverine port against the Centre’s decision had been launched by the National Union of Waterfront Workmen(I), backed by West Bengal’s ruling Trinamool Congress.