Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on Thursday termed the West Bengal government's decision to drop names from the invitee list for Republic Day celebrations held at Red Road in Kolkata as "unfortunate".
Notably, it is for the first time that Opposition leaders were not invited to the programme by the Mamata Banerjee government.
Speaking with ANI, Chowdhury said, "It is unfortunate that government officials did not even send an invite for participation to opposition leaders in the Republic Day ceremony."
Attacking the TMC government, the Lok Sabha MP said, "I don't know on whose behest or for what reasons (we were not invited), but I am surprised that they (state government) celebrated the country's ceremony without us."
"The culture (tehzeeb) of Bengal does not say that the Opposition should not be invited. Not only me, if Indians live in any corner of the world, they celebrate; but in Bengal, no invitations were given to the opposition. It is unfortunate," he added.
Only 60 persons were invited for attending the event including Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar, Speaker of the Assembly, Mayor of KMC, Chief Secretary, Home Secretary, DG and IGP, CP, Kolkata, approx 15 foreign Delegation persons, Army Official and Navy Official
Chowdhury, reacting to claims that Mamata Banerjee violated protocol by not receiving the Governor during his arrival at the Republic Day function, said, "Whatever is going between the Governor of Bengal and the state government is not good. It is not good for our state."
The video shared by the BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari shows the Governor arriving at the function and being received by officials. However, the Chief Minister was not seen greeting him. As the Governor proceeded, he was seen walking up to Mamata to extend the greetings. (ANI)