Former West Bengal Chief Minister and doctor Bidhan Chandra Roy’s birth anniversary, observed as National Doctor’s Day, came as an opportunity for the Left parties and the Congress in the State to come together and cement their electoral understanding.
Leaders of the Left parties went to Bidhan Bhavan, the headquarters of the West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee in central Kolkata, and offered tributes to the freedom fighter and Congress leader.
The Left parties and the Congress have fought the Lok Sabha polls in 2019 and the Assembly polls in 2016 under an electoral understanding. The move by the Left leadership to pay tributes to B.C. Roy is seen as an attempt to further cement the Left-Congress electoral alliance ahead of the State Assembly polls in 2021.
Sujan Chakraborty, leader of the Left Legislature Party in the State Assembly and MLA of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), Manoj Bandyopadhyay, leader of the Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) and Naren Chatterjee of the All India Forward Bloc were among the Left leaders who came to Bidhan Bhawan to share a stage with the Congress. State Congress president Somen Mitra and Congress Rajya Sabha MP Pradip Bhattacharya were among those present at the event.
Mr. Chakraborty spoke about of the contribution of Bidhan Chandra Roy in making modern-day Bengal. He said though there were differences when Bidhan Roy was the Chief Minister and Jyoti Basu the leader of Opposition, both leaders came together in the interest of the people.
Speaking about development, Mr. Bhattacharya said that there were “no permanent friends or enemies in politics”.
The Trinamool Congress leadership took a swipe at Left leaders attending the birth anniversary celebrations of Bidhan Roy. Trinamool Congress MP Sudip Bandyopadhyay said that Left leaders have always been late in realising the contribution of national icons such as Subhas Chandra Bose to Bidhan Chandra Roy.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had announced that the birth anniversary of the celebrated doctor would be a State holiday to honour the role of health workers fighting COVID-19.
“Remembering former Chief Minister of West Bengal, Dr Bidhan Chandra Roy on his birth and death anniversary. The day is celebrated as National #DoctorsDay in his honour,” Ms. Banerjee said on social media, adding that the State government had declared National Doctor’s Day a State Holiday in honour of frontline COVID-19 warriors.