West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee has written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi demanding that the birthday of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose be declared a national holiday.

Every year, the birthday of Netaji, who is one of the great freedom fighters of India, is celebrated on January 23 across the country and abroad.

In the letter to Prime Minister Modi, the West Bengal CM said, “Netaji, one of the greatest sons of Bengal, is a national hero, a national leader and an icon of India’s freedom movement against the British Rule”.

“He is an inspiration across all generations. Under his untiring leadership, thousands of valiant soldiers of the Indian National Army made supreme sacrifice of the motherland,” the letter said.

Chief minister Banerjee reminded Modi that the Centre is yet to materialise the West Bengal government’s request to declare January 23 as a national holiday.

Mamata on Netaji

She said it would be an appropriate recognition to such a great leader on his 125th birth anniversary if his birthday is declared a national holiday.

In her letter, Banerjee also demanded that the Centre should take “appropriate steps to give conclusive position to the issue relating to the disappearance of Netaji” as the people of the country and abroad have been waiting “to know what happened to their great leader”.

Netaji was never seen after August 18, 1945.

While a section of researchers claim that Netaji died in a plane crash at Taihoku in Taiwan on that day, most of his followers still believe that he went into hiding.

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