In an apparent reference to BJP leadership, chief minister Mamata Banerjee today said the leader of the country should follow the Gandhian principles and take every religion and community along with him. Without naming any BJP leader, Banerjee said the best tribute to Gandhiji on his 150th birth anniversary would be to follow his principles of peace, non-violence and communal harmony.

“Not only us but the entire world has learnt from Gandhiji’s principles of non-violence, satyagraha and peace. We don’t anyo advise from such leaders who indulge in divisive politics and violence. But we will just say that the leader of the country should be like Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and Mahatma Gandhi, who had led the nation by taking along with them all the communities, castes and people of all religion,” Banerjee said while addressing Mahatma Gandhi’s sesquicentennial anniversary celebrations on Mayo Road. A leader of the country should not divide the masses or unleash violence.

“Gandhiji has taught us the principles of non-violence and peace. One should keep away from divisive politics and violence. His ideals and struggle for independence has strengthened the idea of united and secular India,” Miss Banerjee, who is a strident critic of BJP and is opposing implementation of the contentious National Register of Citizens proposed by it, said. The chief minister offered her floral tribute to the Mahatma and listed various initiatives taken up by the West Bengal government to commemorate the leader’s 150th birth anniversary. Elaborating on Gandhi’s role, she said when the country was celebrating its Independence on 15 August , 1947, he was in Kolkata to protest against communal riots that were taking place and had appealed for peace and harmony.

“Its our government who have renovated Gandhi Bhavan and set up a museum there. Earlier in the day, in a tweet Miss Banerjee paid homage to Gandhiji :”“Homage to #MahatmaGandhi ji on his 150th birth anniversary. We will pay tribute to the Father of the Nation at his statue on Mayo Road, #Kolkata. To mark #GandhiJayanti, the historic Gandhi Bhavan in Beliaghata, renovated by #Bangla Govt, will be inaugurated today,” Miss Banerjee had tweeted. “The #Bangla Govt has taken up many other initiatives to celebrate #Gandhi150 anniversary, including setting up a university dedicated to #MahatmaGandhi ji at Mahishadal in East Midnapore district,” she said during the meeting.

Rare photographs capturing Mahatma Gandhi’s 1947 stay at Beliaghata area here and articles used by him during the over three-week period when he tried to douse communal passion, will be on display from Wednesday at the house that hosted him. The Gandhi Bhavan, where the Mahatma had put up during his stay, has now been developed as a museum. Both the state and Central governments never read anything about Gandhiji and they do not even want to know about the principles of the ‘father of the nation’, West Bengal Pradesh Congress president Somen Mitra said.

Mitra participated in a march organized by the party from Subodh Mullick Square to Gandhi statue on Mayo Road to mark the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and slammed at the BJP government at the Centre over its proposal to update NRC across states.